Editor’s note: This is the second of a four-part discussion regarding a Nov. 3 referendum to enact a tax levy of one-quarter of one percent for relocating the Gallia County fairgrounds. Part one of this discussion appeared in last Sunday’s edition of the Times-Sentinel. Subsequent articles will publish in Sunday editions between now and the election.
GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Junior Fair Board has distributed a “frequently asked questions” brochure to many in the community, held several public meetings and spoken with numerous groups about their proposal. Junior Fair Board members Brent Eastman, Tim Massie and volunteer Jodie Penrod sat down with the Daily Tribune to discuss the proposed tax increase on the Nov. 3 ballot.
DAILY TRIBUNE: The new livestock pavilion, livestock barns and horse barn as significantly larger than the existing facilities. What does the larger space do to enhance/improve the fair?
EASTMAN: The increased size of the facilities allow for expanded use of the fair facilities for events throughout the year. For example, the fair grounds could accommodate larger livestock shows, trade shows, and other similar events. Based on our feasibility with Johnson Consulting, it was found that there is a large demand for this type of space in our region. Year round facilities could generate up to $6.5 million in additional spending in Gallia County each year, which in turn, could create more jobs for our community.
For more information, see accompanying “Proposed fair structures” graph.
DAILY TRIBUNE: We know the new fairgrounds will be located up on the hill behind its present location, but how will fairgoers be able to access the new facilities?
MASSIE: The main entrance will be off the road by the Shake Shoppe on Jackson Pike. We are also planning on an emergency access off of McCormick Road.
DAILY TRIBUNE: Plans for interior of these facilities are not complete. Is there a reason for that?
PENROD: Architectural planning is costly. So, rather than spend that money up front we decided to wait on spending those funds until after the tax levy passes before moving forward. We can then use these funds for improvements we’ll have to do on the existing facility. However, if voters do agree and we have an opportunity to create a “Fair for our Future,” we will then get input from the community for what we want to do to the new grounds. We have an artist’s concept of what the new fairgrounds layout will look like on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/fair4ourfuture.com or the website, www.galliacountyfair.org.
For more information, see accompanying “Fair relocation project costs” graph.
Readers who have questions about the tax levy or fair facilities are welcome to email those to Bud Hunt, firstname.lastname@example.org. In turn, those questions will be passed on to Gallia County Junior Fair Board members to answer in a future column.