Washington County fair board submits budget request for FY 2020

The Washington County Fair Board oversees the maintenance and operations of the county fairgrounds in Cambridge. The board has requested a small budget increase of 3 percent for the next fiscal year to operate the fairgrounds and the annual fair. The board also has a list of improvements that will be pursued as funding allows. The board has continued to improve the ADA access to all areas of the fairgrounds as a priority. Photo by Steve Lyon
Steve Lyon
  The Washington County Fair Board submitted its annual budget request for fiscal year 2020 with a small increase of 3 percent over the current fiscal year.
 Fair board member Jon Mills and secretary Chris Braun recently met with county commissioners to go over the proposed budget and planned improvements. The board is asking commissioners to increase the budget from $72,000 to $74,000 for FY 2020.
 The fair board operates and maintains the fairgrounds in Cambridge and puts on the annual county fair. This year’s fair will be held from July 29 through Aug. 3.
 Mills said the operating costs of the fairgrounds, such as power bills and utilities, are going up, especially as use of the facilities has increased. There is something going on at the fairgrounds 30 weeks out of the year, everything from weddings to funerals, and the board would like to see even more use.
 “I don’t know if we will ever hit 52 (weeks), but we’d like to make sure the facility is used year round,” he said.
 The budget request only covers annual expenses for the fairgrounds and fair. The fair board also has a list of improvements it would like to do as additional funding allows. Money for improvements comes from rental income, along with donations, fundraisers and other sources, such as the county buildings fund.
 Mills went over some of the improvements that were accomplished at the fairgrounds during the current fiscal year. They include work on the small animal barn and insulating the roof. A cart to move chairs, new tables and a projector and screen were purchased for the exhibit hall, and a PA system was purchased and installed at the sale barn.
 New cement pads were poured for each entryway at the sale barn to improve ADA access and remove a potential tripping hazard. The concrete walkways, which measure 4 feet wide and 110 feet long, cost about $3,500 for construction and labor. The sawdust pit also received a new cement pad.
 In fiscal year 2020, among the proposed improvements, the fair board would like to upgrade the concession stand with a new roof and awning at an estmated cost of $5,800. The board also would like to spend $2,000 to buy a commercial refrigerator for the exhibit hall and install large fans in the sale barn.
 Another project the board is working on will put the livestock brands of ranches in the county on the inside wall of the sale barn. The brands are burned onto a wood block with branding irons and will be attached with others to the wall.
 The fair board has a list of proposed improvements for 2021-2025 at the fairgrounds with an estimated price tag of $133,300. Some of the larger projects include upgrading the lighting to LED and adding four ceiling fans in the exhibit hall at an estimated cost of $14,800. Adding an awning on the west side of the building has a price tag of $45,000. 
 The board would like to do future maintenance and improvement projects at the small animal barn totaling $16,697. The work would include installing awnings and rigid window frames. The list of upgrades also includes an air conditioner and electrical upgrades.
 A longer-term improvement project would eventually add RV hookups at the fairgrounds with landscaping and sprinkler systems. Additional paving in front of the exhibit hall and a PA system that would cover the fairgrounds also are on the list. Fair board members also have continually worked to make the fairgrounds ADA accessible to all.
 Mills also gave a recap of the 2018 fair. Based on livestock project weigh-ins for the 2019 fair, the number of 4-H and FFA kids appears to be up slightly. 


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

Connect with Us