Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

August 12, 2014
Country Explosion gets $63,000 bill from commission

Tooele County Commissioners presented the promoters of Country Explosion with a $63,000 bill last week.

The bill, which is in addition to the $60,000 Country Explosion paid to rent Deseret Peak Complex for the four-day country music festival last month, included charges to cover damages to the facility, plus expenses for the sheriff’s department, facilities management, and information technology staff that provided services to the concert, according to Tooele County Commissioner Jerry Hurst.

“They accepted the amount and agreed to pay,” he said. “I am optimistic that they will come through, but we are still holding their feet to the fire until everything is paid and Deseret Peak is restored.”

The majority of damages occurred on the baseball field where the main stage was located, according to Mark McKendrick, Tooele County parks and recreation director.

“They dug up two water lines after being told not to dig in that area,” he said. “There also are a lot of broken pipes for the sprinkler system and missing sprinkler heads. There are some areas of the baseball field that will need to be reseeded and the area right in front of the stage was really trampled.”

Some people who have asked to use the baseball field for practice have been turned down while the field waits for repairs, but no scheduled tournaments or games have been canceled, McKendrick said.

The county anticipated there would be some damage to the facilities, according to Hurst.

“Any time you put that many people together in one place for four days, there is going to be some damage,” he said.

Country Explosion officials claimed a total attendance of 54,234 at their July 17-20 festival, and a daily average of 13,558, according to Tooele County Commissioner Shawn Milne.

“I think we both underestimated the amount of damages and time to get Deseret Peak restored to its previous condition,” he said.

The county’s contract with Country Explosion included a $10,000 security deposit and allowed Country Explosion four days to return Deseret Peak Complex to the same condition it was in prior to the event.

After the event the county agreed to extend the time for Country Explosion to complete the repairs and restoration work, McKendrick said.

“We went ahead and did what was necessary for the county fair,” he said. “We left the other work until the commissioners met with Country Explosion.”

The commissioners met with Country Explosion officials on Aug. 7.

“We went over the damages in detail with them,” said Milne. “We still have a few things to work out. I know that our county clerk has had a discussion with Country Explosion’s insurance company.”

Milne is also optimistic that Country Explosion will cover the damage and other expenses.

“They have expressed an interest in coming back next year and have submitted a proposal for a tourism grant,” Milne said. “We learned a few things this year. If they come back, I will insist on a larger security deposit that includes either a bond or an irrevocable letter of credit from a bank.” 

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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