Fair board will not move forward with community center

By Ryan Berry

DailyAdvocate.com

GREENVILLE — After holding an executive session at their special meeting last week and an executive session at their regular meeting on Wednesday, the Darke County Agricultural Society’s board of directors made a decision on one of the buildings they were considering building. The executive sessions were for matters that must be kept confidential as they were discussing bids and possible re-bids.

In total, the board spent more than four hours in executive session on the issue and when they emerged on Wednesday night, Marla Werner, director, said, “We have been discussing a proposed community center built here on the fairgrounds. We have decided to not move forward with that project at this time. We are going to develop a focus committee to look at that project and/or other projects we may want to do instead in consideration of our grant and fundraiser money how that would apply. So, that’s been the discussion in executive (session).”

Earlier in the meeting, the board went into executive session for matters that must be kept confidential. When they emerged, President Doug Martin shared it was to make an offer to their agent on next year’s fair concert.

Krista Fourman raised the question of an issue that was brought to light at the September regular meeting. At the previous meeting it was learned several junior fair exhibitors were given permission to show or exhibit their projects even though they signed up after the deadline. At the time, the board said they would discuss it later, but it was not brought up again at that meeting. At the October meeting, the board suggested they discussed sending it back to the Junior Fair Board for a decision. When asked by Werner if that was what the board discussed, Thomas Shaw, director, said, “I believe that is what we discussed, but I don’t think a formal motion was ever made.” When asked if she was okay with that, Fourman replied, “You never said you were taking it back to them. You just threw it on the table. So, you never said what you were going to do. You just threw it on the table. Director Jim Zumbrink made a motion to send the issue to the Junior Fair Board, which was approved. That board will meet on Oct. 13 at the Darke County OSU Extension Office.

The board approved a gratis contract for the rabbit committee to hold a fundraiser for the family of one of their own that was tragically killed in a car crash in Mercer County last week. Heidi May, director, shared that Karen Bucklew has been part of her rabbit club for a long time. May said, “She leaves behind five kids. The committee got together, and we would like to raise money for the kids to have. We want to do something right away, so we came up with the quarter auction idea.” According to May, three of her children are in college, one is in high school and the other is in seventh grade. One of Bucklew’s children, Cooper, currently serves on the junior fair’s royalty court. “We want to help out and do what we can,” said May. The quarter auction fundraiser will be held Sunday, Oct. 23 in the Youth Building.

A motion to nominate Dave Niley for Outstanding Fair Supporter received unanimous support. His name will be submitted to the Ohio Fair Managers Association (OFMA) and the announcement will be made at the annual OFMA meeting in January.

Horse racing will return to the Great Darke County Fair in 2023. The fair board reached an agreement with the local Harness Horsemen Association to keep the same days and times as the 2022 races. However, if the fair’s concert schedule goes to two concerts again, the horsemen may need to move one of their races to Wednesday evening. That will be decided once the concert(s) date(s) have been decided.

The board also agreed to host the National Tractor Pullers Association Regional Nationals on Aug. 22.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected]