Fair board votes to refund donations


By Ryan Berry


GREENVILLE — After more than an hour of meeting with their attorney in executive session, the Darke County Agricultural Society’s board of directors returned to the public portion of their special meeting on Wednesday, June 14 and voted unanimously to refund five donations that were formally submitted to the fair board.

The board voted to go into executive session at 5:39 p.m. for the purpose of a conference with the board’s attorney Chance Cox. The vote was split, 6-4, on whether or not to go into executive session. Voting in favor of the executive session were Jim Zumbrink, Marla Werner, Curtis Yount, Dean Neff, Russ Skaggs and Greg Pearson. Voting against were Craig Bowman, Heidi May, Brian Rismiller and Dave Singer. Board member Jason Manning was absent.

They came out of executive session at 6:55 p.m.

Immediately upon returning to the open portion of the meeting, Werner made a motion “that we had had a formal submission for request from five individuals that their fundraiser money be returned.” Craig Bowman seconded the motion and it passed 9-1. Yount was the sole member to vote against the motion.

When asked to release the total amount of funds that were to be returned, Pearson, board president, said they would not be releasing the information at this time. After the meeting, Pearson was asked when or if they were going to release that information and looked for their attorney to answer, but he had already left the meeting.

Following the meeting, Rismiller tried to ease concern about the proposed construction of a Swine Barn. According to the board member, the motion that was approved by the board to have a three-phase construction plan for the fairgrounds is still on the books and the intention to build a new swine barn remains.

In previous meetings, it was brought up that when the current swine barn was built, the plan was to eventually move the goats into that building, tear down the goat barn and build a bigger swine barn. At the same time, a fundraiser for a new dog barn had already been moving forward, but the three species joined together to raise funds for buildings to accommodate the three species. Some of the funds were dedicated to a swine barn and goats and some were dedicated to a dog barn and there were some funds aimed at building a community center. According to some of the board members, those plans have remained unchanged.

Zumbrink pointed out the original goal was to raise $2.5 million and the fundraiser did not achieve that goal. Although it appears the board is moving forward with a community/education center/dog barn, Rismiller agreed the plan to build the swine barn has not gone away. At a previous meeting, board members conceded that it may take five to 10 years to raise the funds to build it.

At a previous meeting, one of the ideas floated for the swine barn was to build an open-sided structure with the possibility of enclosing it in the future.

The board announced they would have a statement, but it was unavailable at press time. The story will be updated online when the statement is received.

In other business, the board:

* Approved a motion to have Fitzwater Tree & Landscaping remove five trees;

* Agreed to purchase a walk-behind floor scrubber;

* Agreed to cancel the planned June 21 special meeting.

The next regular meeting will be Wednesday, July 5, 7:30 p.m., Secretary’s office.

No posts to display