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Feeling left out: Stark County Fair Association making plans for fairgrounds; Stark County Park Board in the dark

Stark County Park Board commissioners are oblivious to how close the area is to seeing new fairgrounds, a Stark County Fair Association member said Thursday.

SCFA member Frank Klein added that he butted heads with commissioners when they considered spending more than $740,000 on new rodeo bleachers, which he said are not needed.

The SCFA has been trying to construct a fairgrounds and multipurpose complex for years, but has endured setbacks.

While a completion date has not been set for the fairgrounds, Klein said a handful of developers agreed to a land swap, and new bleachers are one bonus they are bringing to the table.

"We're a lot further along than (commissioners) think we are," Klein said. "We've got about six developers that are going to be coming in there and building an outdoor arena bigger than that one, with bleachers and an indoor arena for the land exchange we're doing."

Four developers gave verbal agreements, Klein added.

Klein's announcement was news to commissioners.

"I just saw in the paper on Sunday that you have proposals," Park Board Chairman Arnie Binek said of The Dickinson Press during Tuesday's meeting at the Stark County Courthouse in Dickinson. "You don't even know anything yet."

Klein said the SCFA has plans, and commissioners are out of the loop because they never attend fair-related meetings.

"Oh we know a lot more than what the paper says," Klein said.

Fairground discussions commenced after the Roughrider Commission proposed replacing bleachers on Dickinson State University's rodeo grounds. Both Park Board commissioners and Klein said they spoke with the college about the switch, but got different reactions from campus leaders.

Both Klein and Zander said they felt excluded from each other's meetings with DSU.

After 15 minutes of debating, Commissioner Jay Elkin said county officials were getting off topic, and requested the Park Board's bleacher proceedings be tabled until the next meeting. Klein and the remaining commissioners agreed.