With roughly two weeks to go until the 2019 edition of the Cavalcade Rodeo, Osage County commissioners weren’t quite sure Monday whether or not they would be able to provide portable showers for use by event participants.
Osage County paid $10,000 a year ago for two portable showers for Cavalcade, county officials said. The county has provided at least one shower facility for the rodeo during recent years, they said.
County government does take the issue seriously, if looked at from the long-term perspective. Commissioners have agreed to a roughly $78,000 improvement project for the Osage County Fairgrounds indoor arena that will include the installation of showers; however, a delay in the process of getting prices for the project, as well as the intervention of spring flooding and resulting emergencies, have combined to make it impossible to have permanent showers constructed in time for the 2019 Cavalcade, which is scheduled for mid-July.
County commissioners indicated Monday morning that they would be in touch with Cavalcade organizers about the shower issue, but District 1 Commissioner Randall Jones said his opinion is that the rodeo should consider bearing the expense for portable showers this year, if that’s an amenity it wishes to provide for its patrons.
“That’s an amenity that we don’t provide for anybody else,” Jones said, referring to policy up until now. He added that the county is trying to eventually provide the amenity permanently for everyone.
Kandy Jump, assistant to the commissioners, said visitors for Cavalcade are scheduled to begin moving in July 12. She said there is nothing in place yet for portable showers for the rodeo this year.
“I think the Cavalcade board needs to know that,” Jump said.
In other business Monday related to the Osage County Fairgrounds, the board of commissioners voted 3-0 to adopt a new set of policies and procedures for the operation of the facilities at the fairgrounds, subject to review by the district attorney’s office. Jones has been the key advocate for the attempt to improve administrative accountability for the Fairgrounds.
Jones said that to the extent the fairgrounds currently has any administrative office, that office is the front seat of the caretaker’s Ford F-150.
Jones also clarified Monday that he had been in touch with former Osage County Extension director Donna Robbins to make sure he had not misunderstood her views regarding a possible role for the extension service in the operation of the fairgrounds.
“She said no, I had not misunderstood,” Jones said, commenting on his conversation with Robbins. “I just kind of wanted to clear that deal up.”