Carnival manager responds to failed ride inspections - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Carnival manager responds to failed ride inspections

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TIPTON (KWWL) - River City Amusements, formerly known as Candyland Amusements, failed state safety inspections on several of its rides now set up at the Cedar County Fair. As a result, many were shut down as the fair opened Wednesday night.

River City Amusements manager Floyd Fodness tolsays state inspectors told him about their concerns this past weekend, at a festival in Clinton. But for what he calls some minor issues with easy fixes, he says the state went too far.

"In their opinion, I had to have a structural engineer write out a written procedure to have a certified welder correct them," said Fodness, thinking that the certified welder and safety technicians he had on-site should have been enough. Fodness says it was nearly impossible to find a structural engineer on 4th of July weekend.

But this is where he and the state don't see eye-to-eye.

A spokesperson for Iowa Labor Services says Fodness did not have documents to show that the fixes made to the rides last week were done by a certified welder. So, they gave him the option to get another welder they knew to be certified, or get a structural engineer.

Either way, repairs needed to be done, which is what Fodness spent much of Thursday overseeing. "We're doing our very best to make sure things are safe," he said, shortly before another state inspector came to check the fixes.

Part of a support system on one attraction needed welding, as did a crack on the "ladybug" ride.

Fodness admits those flaws could have made the rides unsafe over time, but says there was no immediate cause for alarm. "If there's a crack right there, at that particular moment that crack might not be a safety issue. But if it's not addressed, then it becomes one."

Fodness worries that his reputation has been tarnished by the inspection problems, but assured us his rides would meet state requirements before his next venue.

"Every one of them will have been inspected by the state, and they'll be stamped. They'll be safe."

As of Thursday afternoon, seven of the rides at the Cedar County Fair had passed inspection.

River City Amusements was contracted for Heritage Days in Mount Vernon, which Fodness says he will not be attending, Beef Days next weekend in Solon, the Washington County Fair, and the Johnson County Fair at the end of the month.

Festival organizers say they are asking questions and want to make sure the rides are safe, asking for inspection sheets and proof of insurance. Solon Beef Days has been using this company for 15 years and doesn't expect any problems.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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