Insulation and drywall are the next improvements scheduled for the Boulder River Carousel at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.
The cost to insulate the building is estimated at $30,000 and that will be paid for with donations accumulated over the years, said Marilyn McCauley who is a member of the Jefferson County Fair Board and the Boulder River Carousel group.
Once the insulation is installed, the drywall can go up and that is estimated at $59,960, according to McCauley.
Of that, the Fair Board can contribute $12,000 and Boulder River Carousel is pitching in $7,500, said McCauley.
The remaining balance of $40,460 will come out of the county’s fairgrounds maintenance budget, and that was approved April 6 by the Jefferson County Commission.
McCauley and Events Coordinator Bruce Binkowski had approached the Commission about the expenditure on April 6.
“That carousel is a gem for the county,” said Binkowski.
Binkowski said that it’s often used by those renting the facilities for weddings and that it needs to be insulated and completed so it can be used year-round.
“It could be used more,” agreed McCauley.
Commission Chairman Leonard Wortman wanted assurance that if the county were to put the $40,460 toward the project, that it would be available for use.
Binkowski said there were some ideas being considered on how to increase rentals, such as booking it through the website and training a group of volunteers who would be available to operate the carousel.
“We have the opportunity to take the carousel to the next step,” said Binkowski, adding that once the funding is approved, the work is expected to be completed over the next two to three months.
McCauley is hopeful it will be completed in time for the fair, which is Aug. 25-28.
The next projects to tackle for the carousel is a heating system so the carousel can be used year-round. Other upgrades on the list include new lighting and an enhanced sound system.
“Better than the little boombox in the corner,” said McCauley.
The carousel and the building it is housed in is owned by Jefferson County and maintained by Boulder River Carousel and Amusement. The building was constructed with volunteer labor and materials purchased by donations.
The carousel itself dates back to 1958, and was handmade by the employees and clients of the Boulder River School, and was originally located about 1.5 miles from the current Recreation Park. By 1995, it had been left to deteriorate, and the Boulder Volunteer Fire Department received permission to move it to the county’s recreation park.
Volunteers worked to restore the carousel horses, and in 2008, there was enough money in place to begin construction on the building that now houses the carousel. It took another seven years to complete the exterior of the building.