Monroe County fairgrounds receives boost

WOODSFIELD – A proposed 4-H exhibit barn on the Monroe County Fairgrounds received a $25,000 boost Monday from the Monroe County commissioners.

In addition, commissioners was informed about another change at the fairgrounds as plans to tear down the grandstand were announced.

The Monroe County Junior Fair Livestock Sale Committee is planning the new exhibit barn.

Commissioner John Pyles made the motion to provide $25,000 toward the project in the hope that oil and gas entities in the county will see the commissioners’ action as a good gesture for the county and would match it to help the youths accomplish what they want. It also was noted that this would be a good capital improvement for the fairgrounds.

Seconding the motion was Commissioner Tim Price, who commented he thinks it is a great addition to the fairgrounds and is a good use of the money.

Dave Matz, president of the Monroe County Junior Fair Livestock Sale Committee, told commissioners that the committee is in the planning stage to build the 4-H exhibit barn, and donations are being sought to help with the project. Cost of the state-of-the-art pole barn structure to house livestock exhibits for the youths is estimated at $245,000.

It is proposed that the new barn replace a smaller 1960s structure, and the new building would have “adequate space to properly house animals and increased ventilation for improved health and comfort of livestock as well as exhibitors.” It also was noted that wider aisles and walkways would provide a safer environment for spectators to view the livestock displays.

Matz also reported the committee has been working for a number of years to improve facilities at the fairgrounds, and the facilities are used annually by more than 600 Monroe County 4-H youths to exhibit 4-H and animal projects. The county has 24 4-H clubs served by 125 4-H volunteers.

He noted the committee during the last several years has worked on such projects as tie panels for cattle, wash racks, sound, lighting, expanded hog pens, barn signs, lamb and goat barn expansion, benches and fans.

It also was pointed out that a newly constructed 4-H exhibit barn could result in re-purposing of the adjacent show barn. In that way, the show arena could be expanded to allow for more spectator seating, and the public would be able to safely enter and exit arena seating without walking behind or beside animals.

In addition, the exhibitors would have a designated staging area to prepare and hold livestock before entering the show arena. Added space also would become available to build more market hog pens for continuous growth in this 4-H project area.

Donations for the 4-H exhibit barn are tax-deductible, and checks can be made payable to the Monroe County Agricultural Society with the memo, Barn Fund, and are to be mailed to the Junior Fair Livestock Sale Committee, P.O. Box 248, Woodsfield, OH 43793.

There are five levels of donor recognition, and naming rights for the building and main walkways are being considered.

In regard to the grandstand, John Ackerman of the fair board said that facility will be torn down in June, and a fund-raiser is being held to pay for a new one at an approximate cost of $300,000. The proposed grandstand would seat about 1,000. Tracy Truax of the fair board could be contacted about further questions.

Asphalt materials, the Monroe County Care Center and a new bridge also received attention at the meeting.

James Fleeman, assistant to the county engineer, presented a bid from Asphalt Materials of Marietta for liquid asphalt, and commissioners approved a motion to accept it.

The memory unit being implemented at the care center is progressing well, according to a report given Monday. David Lucid and Andrea Cullinan, representing the center, gave an update on that unit and other matters.

Commissioners signed a contract for a new bridge in Wayne Township. This is 2013 Community Development Block Grant project.