GREENVILLE — Matt Hughes of Cincinnati-based nonprofit consulting firm Fair Funding LLC, gave an update on the Great Darke County Fair Campaign at the start of the Fair Board meeting on Wednesday, July 3.
The $2.5 million campaign will see over 60,000 square feet of new buildings, a number that includes a new goat facility at 21,600 square feet, and a new dog barn at 15,000 square feet.
According to Hughes, the campaign has reached $2,168,000 thanks to a recent grant of $25,000 from Andersons Inc. and is waiting for updates from several other potential donators. He also met with a political consultant who believes there is anywhere from $200,000 to $500,000 available for the Great Darke County Fair infrastructure through a capital appropriations bill.
“I’m highly encouraged that this person and her firm can get us to where we need to be,” said Hughes.
During the guest commentary, Becky Collins of the Ladybug Garden Club shared news on the front flower bed where a ground sterilizer was erroneously applied. Unfortunately, the plants are dying with the only remedy is to replace the soil.
Collins shared how the club has maintained the flower bed for 17 years but with the 163rd annual Great Darke County Fair right around the corner, it is too late to do anything now regarding the soil.
“We’re just sick about it,” said Collins who said the club was planning to make a butterfly design with flowers but will have to find another solution for the fair.
Also during guest commentary, Stacy Foureman discussed the treatment of her mother, Nancy Foureman, former secretary of the Fine Arts Department at the Darke County Fair, during last year’s fair.
Stacy Foureman explained to the board that two exhibitors retaliated against her mother because they had work that was “unanimously rejected by the jury members that help run the department,” last year, further citing this rejection led to harassment, flash mobs, and cyber-bullying.
When asked by Dean Neff, board president, what she wanted from the board, Stacy Foureman stated she was protesting the hiring of the new Fire Arts Department director, Amanda Mote.
“I’m coming to the Fair Board and asking that you hire anybody else,” said Foureman. “I don’t care who it is.”
While not offering names, Foureman stated she could offer half a dozen individuals and was also interested in the position to continue her mother’s legacy.
Foureman also cited issues with the 2019 Fair Premium Book, including the lack of art sales and a disabled category before passing out packets with material regarding the alleged harassment, among other items, to the board.
On the board meeting agenda was the following:
• The new swine building is on track with conduits recently run, sprinkles on Monday, and plumbing to follow.
• A request was made for an estimate to pressure wash and stain the gazebo.
• Poultry barn additional concrete at the cost of $8000 with $3000 covered by the Chicken Committee and the remainder covered by the board with the motion tabled.
• New bleachers discussed in previous meetings are scheduled to arrive this month.
• The purchase of chairs not to exceed $11250 with the motion passed.
The Fair Board meets at 7:30 p.m. every month on the first Wednesday in the board room in the office under the grandstand. Meetings are open to the public.
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.