Meadville Tribune

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January 16, 2014

Fair Board sets new time for release of animals, exhibits

VERNON TOWNSHIP — Crawford County Fair Board approved a new time for release of animals and for when exhibits can be taken home after the annual Crawford County Fair at a meeting Wednesday evening at Crawford County Cooperative Extension Office.

Following suggestions from many different department heads in attendance, the board voted unanimously to change the time when animals and items may be removed to Sunday (the day after the fair ends) from 8 a.m. to noon. Those in attendance voiced concern about safety issues with traffic that currently occurs on Saturday night when animals are allowed to be taken after 8 p.m. One problem that occurred is many people who exhibited animals also exhibit other items in the Home Show buildings and then tried to remove those at the same time. The Home Show buildings exhibits currently are not to be removed until Sunday.

Also, some people who don’t come to the fair until 8 p.m. on the closing day have complained that many animals were gone.

In other business, the fair board heard suggestions from volunteer department heads and agreed to consider the suggestions and make a decision at the next meeting. One was for an increase in premiums for the beef department. Another dealt with getting a fan or other means to help cool the exhibit building that houses arts and crafts.

A third concern was about whether to allow pop-up tents inside the horse barns. The tents were used for exhibitors to eat in the barns. Fair board members agreed that was not permissible, and board member Ken Hyde said he has a spot outside the barns that can be used for the tents.

Board member Ron Kerr told department heads he appreciated all the suggestions and that the department heads are willing to work with the board.

“I don’t like to make snap decisions,” Kerr said. “I like to spend a little time and thought,” saying he was pleased that the department heads were willing to make suggestions for solutions for the board to consider.

The board voted to allocate up to $25,000 for poles for the horse and pony rings and the draft horse rings. Board member Bill Winter has made some phone calls about the poles and noted the county will have to seek bids for the items as the cost will be over the government-mandated limit to purchase without advertised bids. The horse department has put $4,000 toward the cost.

It was suggested the rest of the cost may be split between the county and the fair board. Although the fair board uses the fairgrounds during Fair Week, the county owns the grounds and is responsible for upgrades and maintenance. It was suggested advertising be done soon in order to have the work complete before the first horse show in May.

Chuck Burns, draft horse chairman, spoke about the Keystone Futurity, an annual colt sale, usually held at the fairgrounds. It was requested the sale be done on the last day of the fair and that the organization which sponsors it needed to be covered by the fair insurance. Told that was not an option, Burns said he would notify the sponsors.

In other action, the board approved:

- A contract with the Volunteer Emergency Medical Services Alliance of Crawford County to provide ambulance service during Fair Week at a cost of $5,298.75. The cost includes coverage at the First Aid Building, plus ambulance and paramedic coverage.

- A contract with Powell’s Sanitation for portable toilet rental at a fee of $9,500.

- A contract with Allegheny Highlands for a horse-pulling contest at a cost of $2,975.

The fair board also heard a report about discussions with several companies to conduct the demolition derbies at the fair.

Also, Fair Board took no action concerning who to name to fill a vacancy created by the recent resignation of longtime board member Ivan Rose.

Fair Board President Walter “Boots” Dunn said six people have applied and a trio of board members will interview them in separate sessions during the next month. It is expected that the trio then will recommend to the full board a name for nomination to the board. The board then will vote on who to recommend to county commissioners to fill the vacancy.

No announcement was made about the names of those who have applied for the appointment. He or she must be from the eastern part of Crawford County, as that is where Rose lives. The board’s bylaws requires three members from the east, three from the west and three from the central regions of the county be appointed.

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