Champion barn becomes major asset for fair board PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Farm Editor   
Saturday, 27 April 2013 08:12
Improvements to the Livestock Exhibition Barn, commonly called the Champion Barn, were showcased at Thursday's Senior Fair Board meeting, which was held in the barn as it continues to receive a facelift.
The board also learned of more than $15,000 being donated for the support of harness racing.
With the improvements, the facility will now be able to be an additional revenue source for the fairgrounds. Improvements include a heating system, new lighting along with many other cosmetic changes.
The barn will be able to serve as a rental, similar to the Junior Fair Building for a variety of events for the public. There is often competition for rooms to rent on the fairgrounds as birthday parties, wedding receptions, flea markets and other sales often are looking for venues. With the improvements made to this barn, it will now offer a year-round room with a large capacity to host many events.
"We have been asked many times for another facility to rent, so we used our assets to improve the building. This will allow people to use it more for auctions and parties," said Dick King, the fair board secretary and fair manager.
The rental fee is $200 for one day, with a $100 security deposit. To reserve the facility contact the fair office at (419) 352-0441.
Though some minor work will continue on the facility, it is capable of being used immediately.
John Konesky, representing the Ohio State Horseman's Association, informed the board of a donation which was made to all county fairs in Ohio from proceeds from casinos in Ohio. There will be $11,600 provided to enhance race purses at the Wood County Fair, With an eight-race program, that means officials will pay to the drivers an average of $1,450 additional per race.
In addition Konesky said the association voted to supply $3,500 to the 65 fairs that support the horsemen with their harness racing programs including Wood County. The fairs without harness racing will each receive $700 to support the agricultural programs.
"We wanted to support those who have been loyal to us. We are giving back," Konesky said of the five times larger donation.
The latter money is ear-marked to assist with or fund race-related expenses for the fairs. Later in its meeting the board approved using the $3,500 for needed improvements to the track and winner's circle area in front of the grandstands.
Following the April 21 death of Devon Patrick Gray, the board was asked and approved allowing a family member to show and sell the 15-year-old Otsego High School freshman's goat project at this year's fair.
The Grand Rapids resident was killed in an ATV accident. He was a member of the Beaver Creek Boosters 4-H Club and the Otsego FFA. Gray also served as a 4-H camp counselor.
Members of the Junior Fair Board announced they approved purchasing a memorial brick which will be installed at the fairgrounds. The Junior Fair Board representatives also announced they are scheduling work days for the fairgrounds each Saturday in July, with other days added as needed.
In other matters:
• Approved increasing late fees for outstanding invoices to a minimum of $5, or 5 percent for the first two months late and 10 percent for each month after 90 days.
• Announced spots are still available for any performance group, including singers, bands, dancers, or other entertainers for the Free Tent.
• Approved splitting the cost of a new refrigerator for the Junior Fair Building. The proposal was made and the cost will be shared with the organizers of the monthly flea market held at the building.
• Are awaiting the state's final approval on what preliminary indications are a clean audit with no violations.

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