Fair goes back to basics

Monday, February 19, 2007

Funds run short, secretary resigns, no midway for '07

Randy Robbins, Lee Meyer and Tammi Green of the Buena Vista County Fair Board visited the Board of Supervisors this week to discuss the board's efforts to save the fair.

After a recent meeting that was held, four members of the board resigned, including Secretary Vicki Roberts. The fair board is currently looking into changing some of the by-laws to allow them to be able to meet the requirements of the 21-person board.

According to Robbins, the laws dictate that members cannot be replaced before the annual stockholders meeting.

"We need to have a full and active board," Robbins said. "We all want the fair to be a success and we ant to have our board full involved."

One issue that came about during the change of executive board towards the end of 2006, was the serious debt the fair board faces. Then Supervisor Jim Gustafson made a motion that the county give the fair board the full $10,000 for the fiscal year instead of breaking it up into two payments during the year as has been done in the past.

"This problem didn't happen overnight and we can not expect to get out of it overnight," Robbins said.

The fair board has some outstanding debt with different companies have been trying to pay off as much as possible. The fair board is also in a tight squeeze to raise the funds to pay for their annual fair books for March. According to the fair board, they are looking to sell more advertising.

The county fair this year follow the State Fair by going back to themes of old-fashinoned entertainment.

The Buena Vista County Fair midway will be eliminated due to expense. The fair will look to feature more motor events.

"Each fair is different. Musical events that are successful at other fairs won't do so well here but motor events do very well here and we look to include more of them throughout the year," Green said.

She also added that a monster truck that gives rides to people will be at the fair this year.

"Some of the entertainment is so expensive and a lot of it we had to just say no because we couldn't afford it or know if it will make money," Meyer said. "We have a petting zoo coming back because the previous board had already signed a contract with him and it was either cancel and pay him $2,500 or pay the full $5,000 and have them be there."

According to Meyer, an Ice Breaker event is being planned for March, but weather is a factor in that event. The regular racing season is set for April.

The board will also look for donations from the community to help with events for the fair as well.

Supervisor Dale Arends commented on the fact that equipment auctions are being hosted at the fair grounds as well. "The grounds are perfect for those events," Arends said.

Robbins agreed and said that the fair board receives some of the proceeds from the events as well.

"There will be another auction on the property coming up and if anyone is wanting to donate to the auction for the fair we will gladly accept it," Robbins said.

The fair board asked if they would be able to haveCounty Attorney Dave Patton go over some contracts. Supervisor Lorna Burnside said they would check with Patton first before giving the fair board the go ahead to check.

"Any assistance you can offer will be greatly appreciated," Robbins added.

"You all should commemorated for the hard work that you have done and still have ahead," Supervisor Ken Hach added.

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