At the October 26, 2016 meeting of the Clark County Commissioners, Clark County Fairgrounds Executive Director Dean Blair requested $135,991 from the commissioners for improvements to Horse Barns 1 and 2 at the fairgrounds.

According to Blair, “Horse barns 1 and 2 are in complete disrepair. The fair board owns the buildings. We pay for water and electrical usage. However, they are not revenue producers. There are serious issues with the electricity. They are a fire hazard. Some of the support beams and roof are rotted.”

“However, we have an opportunity. I was approached by the Reining Association who uses the facilities three times a year. The barns are critical for overflow stalls. The reining association offered $50,000 for the repair and renovation of the facilities. The Cattle Association has also agreed to donate $10,000. I am working with Convention Facility Authorities (CFA) to donate another $15,000. I have a cost estimate of $185,991. I am asking you for $110,991 to complete the project. However, I would prefer that the Buckeye Reiners use $25,000 of the $50,000 they have offered to purchase temporary stalls for the facility. Therefore, I would like for the county to provide $135,991.”

The proposed plan renovates the roofs, replaces rotting poles, and provides a new electrical system. In addition, asphalt would be installed to create multipurpose picnic type shelters out of the existing facilities. The resulting structures could then be fitted with temporary horse stalls when needed, but also be used for cattle tie-ups and aisles. This would give the fairgrounds the ability to supporter bigger cattle shows.

According to Commissioner John Detrick, “The fairground generates 70% of Clark County’s tourism revenues. The Antiques Shows and Extravaganza produce the most followed by the Champion Center.”

Detrick added, “I will go along with the project with the warning that our funding will decrease next year. I want to see your bottom-line in the black. If you check, the commissioners have done a lot for the fairgrounds in the last five years. “We have provided a great deal of support and improvements for the fairgrounds.”

Commissioner Richard Lohnes agreed, “We need to see a good capital improvement plan. It is the Clark County Agricultural Society’s mission to operate the fair, manage, and maintain the grounds. The County owns some of the buildings; therefore, we are liable for the maintenance of those facilities; however, the Society has the responsibility for managing and maintaining the facility.”

The commissioners verbally agreed to fund the project.

For the Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS), the commissioners amended three contracts. The first contract with Clark County Literacy Coalition was amended to add Protect Ohio as a funding source effective October 26, 2016 through the end of the contract June 30, 2017.

They also extended contracts with 4C for Children by $6,260 and Oesterlen Services for Youth for $191,840 for one year from January 1.2016 through December 31, 2017. In addition, the contract with Oesterlen Services for Youth was amended to add Protect Ohio as a funding source.

For Juvenile Court, the commissioners accepted two grants from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. They accepted a grant from Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) for $36,048.28 and a grant from State Victims Assistance Act (SVAA) for $2,411 to fund the volunteer coordinator position with the Juvenile Court for a Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program.

For Zoning, the commissioners set the hearing for a rezoning request from Jerry and Mary Beekman to rezone 1.115 acres at 7122 Springfield-Jamestown Road from A-1 Agricultural District to B-1 Neighborhood Business. The hearing is set for 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 in the Public Chambers in the County Offices

The commissioners also appointed Andy Irick to the Board of Developmental Disabilities for a term to expire December 31, 2020.

In regular business, the commissioners approved requests from County Administrator Jennifer Hutchinson for the issuance and sale of $500,000 in notes to pay the costs of remodeling, renovating and improving the county Jobs & Family Services Building.

In addition, they passed a resolution for the issuance and sale of $8,700,000 to pay the costs of installing a new sanitary sewer in West Enon Estates, improving the Clark County Sewer District, acquiring multi-agency radio communications system, improving the HVAC in the Municipal Court Building, improving the Fairground roadways, acquiring new software for the Auditor’s office, upgrading the Developmental Disabilities Campus, Court Buildings. A.B. Graham and acquiring a new 911 System.

The next meeting of the Clark County Commissioners is scheduled for November 2, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. in the Commissioners’ Conference Room at 50 E Columbia Street.

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