Friday, October 24, 2014

Fair board’s finance committee will explore improvements, budget

Finance committee looking into how many improvement projects will fit into budget.

Posted on Nov. 13, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — The finance committee of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair received permission to begin looking into fitting $1.2 million worth of improvements into the budget at the Wednesday, Nov. 13, meeting of the fair board.

Board President Tim Yoder provided a cost breakdown of the various projects, which he hopes could be completed by the time the fair begins next summer.

“It certainly would be nice if we could,” Yoder said.

Among the improvements include two buildings for restrooms at approximately $250,000 apiece and upgrades to the north and south wings of the grandstand at about $380,000.

It’s unknown at this point how many more seats the new grandstand wings will offer, as the board is still looking into different options.

Yoder cited long lines at current restrooms as one of the customer service issues the board needs to address.

One of the bathroom buildings would be located on the northwest side of the fairgrounds while another is tentatively planned near gate G.

Yoder said the location of the second building could change, however.

The grandstand improvements and bathroom buildings, Yoder said, are going to have to happen.

Farther tram routes, which could cost up to $200,000, are also part of the potential projects.

Two other upgrades the board is looking into are a $65,000 siren alarm system and $55,000 for upgrades to Rotary Drive.

It’s also very important to get the alarm system, Yoder said.

The only action the board took Tuesday night was to authorize the finance committee the go-ahead to see which of the upgrades fit into the budget.

It’s possible that all the projects could fit into the budget, but Yoder said it will be up to the finance committee to make that determination.

If not all of the improvements will fit into the current budget, Yoder said prioritization of the projects will fall to the executive committee.

Treasurer Brent Carrick said it is not likely that the board would have to borrow any money to complete the projects.

“We have a plan for some of the improvements we’re looking at and it would be up to the finance committe to come up with some recommendations,” Carrick said.

The finance committee will now look at the budget to see which, if not all, projects fit into the budget and will make recommendations to the board.

The board will then hold a vote on the projects at a future meeting once the finance committee’s recommendations have been made.

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