WILMINGTON — Despite tractor and truck pulls getting rained out the last two nights, Clinton County Fair gate receipts overall were about 18½ percent higher than last year.
Three Clinton County Fair Board members met with county commissioners Monday regarding capital projects on their to-do list and possible assistance from the county.
Two renovation jobs have to do with making the fairgrounds more handicap accessible. Fair Board member Kevin Garen, who is chairman of Building & Grounds, said Fair Board funds are set aside to resurface areas in between the barns in order to better accommodate people in wheelchairs or those who have other mobility challenges.
Surfacing work is also slated to occur at Curry Drive — the access driveway at the fairgrounds’ main entrance on South Nelson Avenue.
The Fair Board hopes and expects this resurfacing work to be done before the Corn Festival is held at the fairgrounds in September.
A second project to better support people with handicaps is a family-friendly restroom. The solution for this may involve the Junior Fair Building which has space where restrooms used to be, and hence water and sewer availability is already there. If that location works out, the project could involve remodeling rather than constructing something from scratch.
In speaking about the two projects to support people with handicaps, Garen indicated members of the public have asked about adding both improvements.
As far as other projects go, the Fair Board faces a storage issue when it comes to horse manure and wood chips, plus an issue in removing the manure, reported Garen.
In addition, he said fire officials have stated there needs to be more space between on-site campers in view of fire lanes in case of an emergency.
Also, members of the Fair Board are assessing whether to replace or repair an old horse barn.
There is money set aside for some fencing work planned for this year on the fairgrounds perimeter, Garen said. There’s storm-related loss of roof shingles on the small Junior Fair Office building situated near the Peterson Building.
Looking ahead down the road, Fair Board Treasurer Shane Smith mentioned that if adjoining land were to become available, then adding adjacent land for extra camp sites would be a revenue generator and an improvement.
Following up on that comment, Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed said the county could always convert some of its real estate at the County Annex Building site across from the fairgrounds into a parking area. That would enable the Fair Board to utilize some of its land currently used for parking and designate it instead for campsites.
Smith then brought up a possibility of having a shuttle service from the parking area across the street to the fair.
“We’re open to ideas,” added Smith.
Clinton County Commissioners President Mike McCarty asked the Fair Board members to compile a list of the various projects, along with price quotes, to help commissioners along in reviewing their options to possibly assist with county funds.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.