County fair board seeks more support



May 22, 2013 - 12:00 AM

Allen County commissioners will consider increasing their support for the annual Allen County Fair by $2,000, which would put the annual total at $13,000.
Becky Robb, a member of the fair board, told commissioners “it’s a struggle” making ends meet each year and “I don’t want to do bake sales.”
The $11,000 the county has sent the fair’s way the past several years has provided $5,000 to support 4-H activities, including premiums for winning entries by the younger participants. Of the remainder, Robb said $500 was earmarked for open class premiums and $5,500 went into the building fund, with about $3,000 of that for liability insurance. The fair board also has a utility bill each season of $2,000 to $3,000.
Other than the county’s support, the fair board depends on sponsors and fee collections.
“It gets tougher every year,” Robb said, noting that some major sponsors reduced their support when the economy slipped with the recession.
“We’re a nonprofit but we have to pay our bills,” she said.
An accounting showed the fair had lost money four of the last five years. Losses ranged from $12,788.38 in 2008 to $331.92 in 2011. A profit of $6,449.10 was turned in 2009. While she didn’t have exact figures, Robb said shortfalls were made up from reserves carried forward from the previous year.
Commission Chairman Dick Works said the fair “is a part of our heritage and our identity. We’ll try to do our best for you.”

IN OTHER NEWS, commissioners:
— Accepted a new three-year Neighborhood Revitalization Program for Gas, which includes all of the town except Fees Park. Rhonda Hill, city clerk, said all other taxing units involved — USD 257, Allen Community College and the city itself — had approved the program.
The program provides 95 percent tax abatements for six years, which then decline by 20 percent a year to full taxpayer responsibility for improvements or new structures valued at $5,000 or more. Hill said four people took advantage the past three years.
— Approved purchase of a color printer for the county attorney’s office at a cost of $1,000 from Copy Products, one of three bids.
— Gave Tom Nevans permission to erect a large black plywood silhouette of a kneeling soldier near the Veterans Wall on the south lawn of the courthouse over the Memorial Day weekend.

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