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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Fair plan is too ambitious, better alternatives exist
The fair is a bit short on money. Looks like it needs another $35,000 to $50,000 a year. Let’s see …
We could give the fairground property to a new event center organization. We’ll build it with $10 million bonds, guaranteed by the county, using the fairground property as collateral. We’ll keep personnel costs down to $700,000 per year. We’ll tear down most of the structures and build new ones that are unsuited to mundane fair events. But forget the fair — there will be so many other awesome events throughout the year that when it withers away we won’t even notice.
We’ll need another $2 million yearly for maintenance, by the way.
Hey, I forgot to mention that, even though lots of great events will bring in hundreds of thousands of people and make tons of money, we still won’t have enough money, so we’ll ask 500 of you to contribute $1,000 to $10,000 per year to the Event Center Foundation. That might suck money away from other charities, but people only have so much money to donate, you know?
Of course, eventually the whole thing will fail, since so many details were swept under the rug. Like the lack of ferry capacity and only having a fraction of the parking needed. Hey, was it our fault people weren’t willing to walk? When it fails, I guess the property will go to the bondholders to build cool condos. Maybe I’ll buy one.
Or else … We could make the fair RV sites into a year-round RV park. At $30 per night, 50 percent capacity and spending half of that on expenses, we could clear $180,000 a year. Isn’t that three times what the fair needs? What would it cost to get that going? We need a sign. A flyer. A website. A camp host, a bathroom upgrade. $30,000? $40,000? Certainly only a fraction of what the Event Center Foundation would try to raise.
Hmm, either a $10 million bond guaranteed by the county, $2.7 million in yearly operating expenses, bad fair facilities, and high risk of losing a valuable county asset or $30,000, zero risk, and good probability of financial success. So hard to choose. What do you think?