County continues fairgrounds decisions
Since discussions of how to manage the Marshall County Fairgrounds have been piecemeal, the board of supervisors decided to consolidate discussions into one long meeting.
Some of the topics under consideration include:
• creating a job description for a new director.
• deciding how to manage the hay crop. There were 64 bales of hay not picked up by the harvester who took his share home. Supervisors want to know how to handle it. The bailer wants to buy the hay. The question is what to charge.
• preparing an audit of funds that were held by the fairgrounds association. There are a lot of unpaid bills out there, supervisors said.
• drafting a rental agreement that lays out what fees will be charged for indoor and outdoor arenas.
• determining who is responsible for cleaning stalls after an event. A former board member complained about the cleanliness of the arenas, supervisors said.
• assigning one or two county employees authorized to sign rental agreements.
• deciding who gets proceeds from concessions.
“We are solving issues one board meeting at a time,” said District 1 supervisor Charles Terry. “Would it be good to form a committee to deal with all these individual things? There are lots of things we need to address.”
Zoning director Ken Jones, who has been overseeing the issues at hand and reporting back the facts to the board of supervisors, reported the fairgrounds has events booked all the way to September 2020.
Food truck operators are licensed, he said, in order to operate.
“It’s just like a rolling store,” Bennett said.
He said if the county appoints a fairgrounds board, that some board members will help operate the facility, just volunteering their services.
Terry said like most vendors, food trucks have to be licensed by the state.
Bennett said he thinks food trucks and concessions should be charged a fee.
County administrator Larry Hall said deposits for rental are not covered in the proposed rental agreement drafted by Jones.
Attorney Kent Smith said the deposit applies to the rent.
“They have to have proof of invoice,” Jones said.
District 4 supervisor George Zinn III said he thought the rental fees should be competitive with other facilities that charge $700 a day.
Jones said insurance for events is not expensive.
Terry questioned charging for events like family reunions that do not bring in revenue.
Jones said insurance for school-related events can be waived.
Smith said counties have lots of immunities from liability unless the county does something wrong. He meant that injuries that people caused to themselves would not be a concern.
Terry asked if it is feasible to put a committee in charge of the fairgrounds.
“It would be just like the zoning board,” Jones said. “We have a board but you (supervisors) run it.”
“We’re just deciding one thing at a time,” said Bennett. “Let’s sit down and iron it out.”
“I agree with Ronnie – just sit down and do it,” Terry said.
Then the board approved Jones and Hall to sign rental agreements with customers when no one else is available.
The board set January 1 as the day to operate under county guidelines.
Zinn chose Eric Lester, Autry Allen and Bobby Sims to serve as his three appointments to the fairgrounds board. He chose Eric Zinn to serve as his appointee to the IDA board.
Bennett chose Ben Ivester, Craig Wells and Ken Jones to serve as his appointments to the fairgrounds board.
Charles Terry recommended Desmond Howell as one of his appointments to the fairgrounds board of directors.