Extra fair funds raises commissioners eyebrows

Losing money or breaking even has been a stable condition of the Lyon County Fair Board. That is — until this past year.

Wally Wichmann of the Lyon County Fair Board presented the budget for the 2018 county fair because the county board was concerned because the fair produced a profit of about $19,000 and fair board members and county board members were concerned with how the funds will be used.

“We’re going to be looking at hiring musicians and entertainers,” said Wichmann.

In the past, the county fair board was strapped by a budget that did NOT show an income.

In fact, last year the board asked for extra funding from the county board. But the fair board turned around their financial picture with a good fair and the county board was concerned the fair board will handle the extra funds correctly.

An increase in “big time” bands is on the agenda of the fair board, but they haven’t signed their entertainment for the 2018 fair.

There will be an increase in the advertising budget next year of about $5,000.

Commissioner Sanow requested the fair board send a copy of the final report on expenses for the county board. Wichmann indicated that could be done.

“You might want to fine tune your budget,” said Commissioner Ritter. “Then come back to us with the budget,” the commissioner added.

“We want to make it a bigger and better fair,” said Wichmann. “We can’t charge any more,” he said.

The Lyon County Fair has been a FREE fair in the past years, with the support of the county board. “You have to be careful not to keep spending to get people out there,” said Commissioner Ritter.

He told Wichmann last year’s fair went a long way toward improving the fair.

IN OTHER action the board:

•Approved a tobacco license renewal to Dalager’s Grocery and Gas in Minneota but questioned if “new owners” had to re-apply after they take over.

Auditor/Treasurer E. J. Moberg indicated he would check on the legality of the license.

•Supported improvements on a Highway 212 project. The board was asked to support funding for the U. S. Highway 212 corridor project. “That’s an extremely unsafe road,” said Commissioner Steve Ritter.

The board quickly moved to approve the resolution under the “Corridors of Commerce” program. Traffic has drastically increased and is expected to be increased by 200 percent by 2030.

Much of the traffic is truck traffic. Commissioner Rick Anderson agreed that 212 is a “dangerous” road. Improvements to the corridor are being planned, so the county board easily approved that project for $110 million in an effort to complete a four-lane highway near Norwood-Young America.

•Approved contracts with Russell, Balaton and Cottonwood to provide police services. Each community contracts separately with the county sheriff’s office for police protection.

Sheriff Mark Mather indicated there was a slight increase in the cost of police services.

•Accepted a donation from the Minnesota Horse Council in the amount of $3,500. It will be used to install new electrical pedestals for the four additional campsites in the Horse Campground at Garvin Park.

•Approved the final payment of $66,280.43 to R&G Construction of Marshall for grading County Road 10 between County Road 24 and 17.

The total amount paid on this project was $1,297,925.55. The board also approved a final payment to R&G Construction for grading east of Highway 59. A five-mile project was designed to improve the road north of Minneota.

“This project included take about four-feet off a hill adjacent to the STOP sign in an effort to increase safety to the area,” said County Highway Engineer Aaron VanMoer.

•Made minor adjustments, then set the 2018 budget at $14,462,000 with a one percent levy increase.

Byron Higgin

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