Fair board releases fire update

Staff Report

January 22, 2014

DARKE COUNTY - The Board of Directors for The Great Darke County Fair recently issued a press release about the fire that took place on Dec. 27, 2013 in an effort to stem the amount of misinformation circulating in the community.

Currently, the State Fire Marshall’s Office and insurance company investigations are ongoing and incomplete regarding the fire at the Darke County Fairgrounds that affected the 60 foot by 240 foot Beef Palace; the 60 foot by 240 foot Dairy Palace; the 50 foot by 50 foot connector and the 12 foot by 20 foot Cattle Office. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

These areas remain closed and cannot be accessed until the aforementioned agencies grant permission to do so.

On Friday, the fair board was informed that the company providing the structure insurance on the buildings had declared the structures a total loss. The total insured replacement value of the affected structures is $959,653.00.

The fair board wants to assure 2014 exhibitors and fair-goers that the cattle shows will take place at the north end of the fairgrounds during the 2014 fair.

A moderated, time limited public comment forum has been scheduled for Thurs., Jan. 30 in the Youth Building where the general public can provide moderated, time limited public comment from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Junior Fair members only can provide moderated, time limited public comment from 5 to 6 p.m. earlier in the day.

The fair board’s next step is to set a group examination date for the fire damaged area with respect to the area of origin so that all interested, affected insurance parties can be present for full visibility and openness. This event will take place between Jan. 30 and Feb. 7.

Based on Ohio Revised Code, when the initial investigation is complete the structure insurance carrier will forward a check for the actual cash value of the structures to the Darke County commissioners for distribution to the fair board. The fair board has 24 months from the date of loss to replace the structures. The fair board shall submit the winning replacement bid to the Darke County commissioners. The Darke County commissioners will submit the bid to structure insurance carrier for evaluation for like/kind/quality. Once the evaluation is complete and barring any exclusions, the structure insurance carrier will send a check to the Darke County commissioners for the depreciation left out of the actual cash value payment.

Per ORC 1711.24, “The board of county commissioners of a county in which there is a county agricultural society shall insure the buildings on the grounds of such society for the benefit of such society”.

The fair board will now prepare a demolition request for proposal and send them out to prospective bidders once the fair board is given permission to access the affected areas. Per the policy with the structure insurance carrier, demolition and debris removal is an extra expense covered. Demolition and debris removal is in addition to the actual cash value and depreciation payments. The fair board will need to submit the winning demo/cleanup bid to the Darke County commissioners for submission to the structure insurance carrier.

Further information regarding the public comment forum will be available no later than Monday.