The fairgrounds in Douglas County are in rough condition, but for the most part, is usable by the public, according to a report from the city’s chief building inspector.

“I didn’t see anything that I would say ‘close the building,’” Chief Building Inspector Peter Kruit said. However, he did note a number of deficiencies the county should address at some point.

However, there are four issue the county will work to repair before the fair opens July 16.

“We did find asbestos in the men’s and women’s bathroom,” said Adam Olson, the county’s safety and risk manager. “That is the main thing that needed to be dealt with right away.”

Currently, those bathrooms are closed and port-a-potties were brought in because asbestos pipe insulation and ceiling tiles are deteriorating, Olson said.

The Douglas County Board on Thursday, June 20, approved authorizing county leaders to move ahead with emergency repairs using the county’s ticket surcharge revenue to pay for them.

“There’s four things that we need to address right away,” Supervisor Keith Allen said. “There were three issues with the electrical work. So, we’re going to get someone out there to look over those three issues.”

The men's and women's restrooms at the Head of the Lakes fairgrounds in Superior remain closed after peeling asbestos was discovered. The Douglas County Board authorized emergency funding in hopes it will be removed before the fair opens July 16. (Courtesy of Douglas County)
The men's and women's restrooms at the Head of the Lakes fairgrounds in Superior remain closed after peeling asbestos was discovered. The Douglas County Board authorized emergency funding in hopes it will be removed before the fair opens July 16. (Courtesy of Douglas County)

Kruit recommended the county immediately address permanently wiring a temporary power panel, proper installation of ground rods and testing of ground fault circuit interrupters.

Allen said the county also needs to remove peeling asbestos from the men’s and women’s bathrooms, tripping hazards the fairgrounds managers can repair and restoring accessibility in doorways because of excessive entry sill heights.

“We has $30-some thousand dollars in that account,” Allen said. “I don’t think it will come close to half that but I did want you to be aware.”

Asbestos removal is expected to cost $5,785, according to the low bid obtained by Olson for the work. Other costs aren't known yet.

Allen said the Land and Development Committee will begin exploring long-term options for addressing other deficiencies noted in Kruit’s report.