Fair Board to seek legal counselThe Stark County Fair Board plans to seek legal advice over how to move forward with the proposed development of 56 acres of land west of Dickinson. At Wednesday’s Fair Board meeting, representatives from the Western Soil Conservation District discussed possibilities with the board. It is unclear whether the Soil Conservation District would be able to construct a building on the property.
By: Ashley Martin, The Dickinson Press
The Stark County Fair Board plans to seek legal advice over how to move forward with the proposed development of 56 acres of land west of Dickinson.
At Wednesday’s Fair Board meeting, representatives from the Western Soil Conservation District discussed possibilities with the board. It is unclear whether the Soil Conservation District would be able to construct a building on the property.
Fair Board Member Russ Hoff said he is under the impression that if they constructed a building on the land, it would not technically belong to the Soil Conservation District.
“I did talk to the State’s Attorney… and one of the things he said was you guys could not actually own a building out there, unless it was some type of joint powers agreement” Hoff said.
He added there are risks that go along with the Soil Conservation District constructing a building on the land.
“If something would happen out there where this land would be deeded back to the county, there’s a possibility that building would be…up for bids,” Hoff said. “Maybe it’s a minimum possibility, but it’s a possibility.”
Hoff said if a fair was not held for a set amount of years, the 56 acres could be deeded back to Stark County. The board does hold Roughrider Days Fair and Expo every year, but it is unclear whether that is up to par with guidelines.
Ron Decker, who is with the Western Soil Conservation District, said it would be a problem for them to finance a building without a lease. He added they would like to build a facility on the land with a cooler in it to store trees for part of the year.
“Our nearest estimates would probably be over $200,000 for the structure,” Decker said. “We know the cooler is over $35,000.”
Decker said another entity may be able to use the building if they come to an agreement.
“We’re going to have to do something in the near future, because our old tree shed is getting pretty old,” Decker said. “If we could, I think we would love to start building sometime later in the year.”
Park Board Member Connie Monson said the board should find solutions to the issues soon.
“We will be dealing with other entities in addition to the soil conservation district,” said Board Member Connie Monson. “We need these answers.”
LaVae Benson, who is involved with 4-H, said she is excited about the proposed fairgrounds.
“I have a horse club and for us, there’s just no place to go,” Benson said. “Right now things are pretty much at a standstill.”
She wants to see an indoor facility that 4-H members and their horses can utilize in the winter.
“We’d use it all summer too because we meet every week in the summer,” Benson said.
Chuck Andrus, from the South Heart City Council, said the council wanted to offer moral support to the board.
“The city of South Heart and most of the people in the region realize that we need to have something like this,” Andrus said.
The Fair Board’s project consultant, Gary Satern, was unable to attend the meeting, so the board is looking at scheduling a special meeting with him within the next few weeks.