PICKAWAY – A check was presented to County Commissioners, Jay Wippel, Brian Stewart and Harold “Champ” Henson in recognition of the Commissioners efforts to move the revitalization of the fairgrounds.
The event Gun-A-Palooza was already a popular event but according to Von Cremeans President of Fair Board it was 30% bigger this year because of the new fair grounds. Last year the event was able to donate $89,236.01 to the revitalization totaling over 200,000 dollars they have already donated just from this one event.
“This is another fine example of the cooperation and working relationship between the fair board and commissioners, said Harold “Champ” Henson, “this is a recipe for success, and I appreciate all your hard work and we will see what next year brings.”
Listen as Jay Wippel, Harold “Champ” Henson, and Brian Stewart speak to the Pickaway fair board
Commissioner Brian Stewart said that during the ribbon cutting of the fairgrounds someone said, “wow this is really nice, but can you pay for this?” Stewart said he replied immediately, “yes, but do you think we would have built it if we couldn’t pay for it?”
Stewart said that he did not help pick out the design or what went into the new fairground buildings what he did was to really dive into the costs and how the county and fair board could afford to pay for a renovation as substantial as this.
“We feel very comfortable about servicing the debt without it effecting any core services we have been providing for the last several years. Stewart said the county has been adding 900,000 to a million dollars in carry over in budget over the last several years. We had around 4 million in donations, and anything above that was financed through the county after an agreement was made with the Pickaway County Fair board that 75% of Gun-A-Palooza and 50% of rentals not including fair revenues would be contributed to county to pay debt service for fairground renovations. These payments take a big chunk of the way there to taking care of this debt.”
Stewart said that the remaining debt was financed over 25 years but he does not expect it to take that long to pay it off with the popularity of the fairgrounds and other economic developments that are in the works.
Gun-A-Palooza had 2,400 people at event 4,300 tickets were sold. The Fair board said there was 1,700 beers sold in 8 hours. With the extra monies made the Fair board is talking about adding more technology to the buildings.