WILMINGTON — Meeting at the Clinton County Fairgrounds, the Clinton County commissioners Wednesday received an encouraging update about the fair and the fairgrounds from Clinton County Agricultural Society President Scot Gerber.
Gerber said things were going well at the fair and that attendance is similar to last year’s, which he said was a good year for the fair. Gerber also said that renovation projects were proceeding as expected, as were expenses related to the renovations.
“From a fair standpoint, everything’s progressing positively,” said Gerber. “We had a couple good days. And then obviously the last two days, from a numbers standpoint, have been down, but that’s pretty typical with the kind of weather we’ve had.”
Weather had been difficult, Gerber said, but fair staff were prepared. Wagon shuttles were borrowed, for free, from Brown and Highland counties, and Commissioner Pat Haley said the board handled yesterday’s storms well.
“That storm affected a lot of people in this community – a lot of trees down, a lot of wires down – but you were able to do it very professionally,” Haley said. “You all did an outstanding job.”
Gerber said the board had finished several projects from water lines to the renovation of the expo center, and an Eagle Scout renovated one of the bathrooms at the fairgrounds.
Gerber said he thought a driveway project near the fairgrounds would cost more than the original engineer’s estimate of $40,000 from years ago, adding that the project would need additional work that wasn’t accounted for in the estimate.
Commissioner Mike Curry suggested Gerber get a new estimate, and Haley suggested the commissioners might be willing to aid the project.
“I think that’s a very important project to get finished,” Haley said. “I think this would be a safety valve for that flow of traffic.”
As for future projects, Gerber said he’d like to meet with the commissioners after the fair to discuss ideas. He also said the Ohio Department of Agriculture announced $4.7 million in grants available for projects at fairs. Gerber wanted to assemble a team to apply for a grant. He expected a maximum matching contribution of $50,000.
Commissioners also began the process of paying for the 25 percent down payment for renovations to the Clinton County courthouse and two other county buildings. They appropriated $1,307,385 into a fund. Next week, a bill should be approved so a check can be made out to Perfection Group, which will perform the work.
The renovations would provide for extensive work to the courthouse, the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office and the office of the Clinton County Veterans’ Service Commission, as previously reported. The project’s total cost is $5.2 million.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.