Fair Board previews electrical project


By Aimee Hancock - ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com



SIDNEY — The Shelby County Fair Board reviewed a preliminary drawing of the layout of the fairground’s new electrical project during the board’s meeting on Sept. 19.

The project will focus on adding electricity poles, as well as providing maintenance to older ones.

President Jeremy Reese said a new power pole will be put directly behind the secretary’s office, allowing campers who parked on the west end of the middle lot to more conveniently plug into the secretary’s office.

About 36 new electricity sites will be put back along the grandstand fence with 30-amp plugs, equaling out to six to eight per camper pedestal. These electrical outlets will be connected to overhead power lines.

“There was considerable discussion about going underground with lines, but with the many tents that go up, we figured it would be easier to keep it above ground,” Reese said.

Reese added that an electrical company will be hired to survey the ground’s existing poles.

“There’s 117 poles on the fairgrounds, roughly,” he said. “They will come out and do an inspection on each one and prioritize our list so we know exactly which ones need to be taken care of.”

Additional maintenance on the grounds will include the removal of a dying tree and stump.

The board discussed the possibility of having Kiwanis lunches for organizations during the fair, which would involve inviting business leaders during fair week, providing lunch, along with a 15 to 20 minute presentation from the junior and senior fair boards.

“This would be to showcase what we’re doing here and the positive impact we’re having on youth,” Reese said.

Citizen Scott Barr attended the meeting during the public participation segment to share his thoughts on the issue of smoking on fairgrounds.

Barr appeared as a resident of Shelby County and as a parent, noting he was not on official business as a representative of the Shelby County United Way.

“Think about all of the youth programming that we offer, especially through 4-H, and the type of environment we are creating when we allow contractors, vendors, or the general public to smoke on property,” he said.

According to Barr, the Shelby County smoking rate is 17.8 percent.

“That means 82 percent of your population in Shelby County does not smoke,” he said. “The state average is worse than that, at 22 percent smoking. If you think of family events that you want to take your kids to, how many of them — whether it be zoos or amusement parks — allow smoking?

Barr said benefits to a smoke-free fair include a more family-friendly atmosphere, health benefits due to lack of secondhand smoke, less risk of accidental fire, and less of a burden on law enforcement and fair staff to find and stop underage tobacco use during the fair.

Board member Bill Clark asked the board to consider moving the ducks, geese, and turkeys to a tent near the area where Baby Land once occupied. The board would need to purchase new cages, and Clark is looking for donors to help with the investment.

By moving these three species, area would be opened up for 15 pens for hogs and sheep for the 2019 fair. A motion was carried to approve this idea on the condition that funding becomes available.

OSU Extension Educator of 4-H Youth Development, reported on Junior Fair. The rummage sale ended with a net profit of $1,900, which will go toward the Junior Fair’s 2019 budget.

There will be expanded training hours for Junior Fair Board members, and the annual Junior Fair Board meeting will be Dec. 29, in the Extension Office.

In other business, the board discussed the following:

• 2019 Fair set for July 21 through 27

• The 2019 Ohio Fair Managers Association annual convention

• Speed office window replacement

• 2019 Fair entertainment consideration

• 2019 Fair lunch pass possibilities

By Aimee Hancock

ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.