GREENVILLE — Changes loom as the weeks count down to the 2018 Great Darke County Fair.
At monthly meetings over the course of the last several months, fair board members have discussed a number of new rules, projects and initiatives, including:
- The board voted unanimously in January to approve a contract with Tampa, Florida-based company Prime Time Amusements, LLC to provide rides, games and other amusements for the 2018 fair. The board’s contract with the company will bring at least 10 new rides to the fair, along with games, cell phone-charging stations and diaper-changing areas, and possibly even a circus. The agreement also will see the return of the popular “Gravitron” ride to the Darke County Fair. The plan is for new rides to be introduced each year.
- The board voted in February to move forward with an online app featuring maps and the ability to buy fair and concert tickets, accepting a proposal for a two-year contract from an unnamed company for a total price of $2,200. Fair manager Brian Rismiller said the app, and especially the map functions, would save the board a lot of money typically spent printing, picking up and eventually disposing of paper maps, as well as being a potential source of advertising revenue.
- The tractor shuttles used to transport fairgoers in remote parking areas to the main fairgrounds were taken out of service last year following three separate incidents in which fairgoers were injured. Board members have discussed widening roadways in several places and putting up chains and stanchions to create separate paths for shuttles and pedestrians to use. The current plan, however, is to get rid of the tractor shuttles altogether and instead use taxis and six-passenger golf carts to transport disabled and elderly patrons across the fairgrounds.
- Representatives from Greenville Township Emergency Services addressed the board recently about new fire code regulations that went into effect in December, including requirements that tents, food trucks and other structures remain at least 10 feet apart. A variance has been added to the new code specifying that food trucks can be parked a mere 2 feet apart, but the 10-foot distance between trucks and other structures will remain in effect. The variance was added in response to a letter sent to the fire marshal by members of the Ohio Fair Managers Association, saying these new requirements could have an adverse impact on county fairs throughout the state.
Board members at Wednesday’s meeting voted to approve a number of maintenance and improvement projects, including repairs to the wall at the east end of the Coliseum, at a cost of approximately $8,000; fiber coating to repair leaks in the roof of the Horseshoe and Domestic Arts Building, at a cost of $2,800; $1,550 to replace the concrete wall of a manure pit; and a budget of $7,500 to trim and cut down trees which may pose a safety hazard.
Rules regarding the use of all-terrain vehicles on the fairgrounds were discussed. Vendor Dennis Kolp brought up potential discrepancies in the rules during the public hearing portion of the meeting. Board member Thomas Shaw agreed, saying he thought ATV use on the fairgrounds should be restricted to vehicles owned and operated by fair board itself. Under current rules, the vehicles can be used by vendors after 11:30 p.m. in order to transport stock. Following some discussion, the issue was tabled until a future meeting.
Finally, board members voted to schedule a second meeting for June 27. The following meeting will take place July 18.
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