Board agrees to landscaping and asphalt for new building


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Agricultural Society’s Board of Directors (fair board) continued to shape the look of the newest building on the fairgrounds at its regular board meeting on Wednesday. Ten of the board members were present with Dean Neff absent.

According to Director Jim Zumbrin, construction is in full gear and may be ahead of schedule for the Cargill Community Education Center and Hills Dog Show Arena, but the fair board continues to make final decisions that will shape the look and function of the building for years to come.

The issue of asphalt came up during the most recent meeting and turned mildly controversial when the board was trying to decide whether or not to accept bids from Wagner Paving. The board recently learned they, along with every other fair in the state, had a share of $10 million from the state to improve the fair. The fair board chose to use the funds to lay asphalt around the new building to better encourage rental of the building. The Agricultural Society received funds that were just shy of $107,000. The bids to lay the base and install asphalt totaled approximately $112,000. The cost for the base was approximately $60,000 and the asphalt cost was approximately $52,000.

Although all were in agreement that asphalt is important to install for the building, there were some on the board that were concerned the plans for the asphalt did not include an area for landscaping. The fair board received a proposal from Flory Landscaping to install the landscaping at the front of the new building at no cost to the board with the landscaping company taking care of the area for three years. The fair board could renegotiate after three years.

The original motion to open and review the bids received support from the entire board, but when it came to voting on a motion to accept Wagner Paving’s bid at a cost not to exceed the state grant, the motion failed 6-4 with directors Zumbrink, Russ Skaggs, Apollo Perez and Craig Bowman voting in favor of the motion.

Additional discussion was had amongst the board members and a closer review of the map provided by Wagner Paving and the proposal from Flory Landscaping was made. The paving map appeared to show there was room for landscaping. The board compromised and came up with a plan to continue with the asphalt project not to exceed the state grant with the condition that Wagner Paving and Flory Landscaping work together to develop a plan to include asphalt and landscaping. The motion passed with a 7-3 vote. Directors Zumbrink, Heidi May and Greg Pearson voted against the motion.

Zumbrink brought up two additional issues that needed to be decided for the building. The board unanimously approved a motion to hang the air handlers rather than having them placed on the floor. The board felt they would take up valuable space if they were on the floor.

The board also verbally agreed to a change order for the overhead door. The door was originally going to be solid, but for approximately $1,200 they could install a two-row window to allow light to come in. According to Zumbrink, the panel would look similar to what Mercer County did on its new Grand Event Center. Fair Manager Laura Ahrens noted the committee saved money by choosing not to drywall the closet and electrical room, which would offset the cost for the change. The board did not need to vote because the change was less than $5,000.

In other business, the fair board agreed to pay for half of the funds requested to bring Ray Perryman back to the fair for a church service. The swine department requested $2,000, but the board voted 6-4 to pay $1,000 for his expenses and allow Perryman to collect donations to cover costs. It was discussed that in past years, the board had paid half and the swine department paid half. Last year, the board paid the entire amount and Perryman also collected donations for expenses. Voting against the motion were directors May, Perez, Zumbrink and Pearson.

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

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