EATON — The Preble County Agricultural Society has made a commitment to supporting the completion of the Expo Expansion Project at the Preble County Fairgrounds.
During a Fair Board meeting held Thursday, Jan. 17, the board voted to approve a letter vocalizing the terms of its support.
Preble County Commissioners have been discussing fundraising for the Expo Expansion Project. They have discussed at length financing a portion of the project, once the needed cost was reduced to $400,000. To pay back the loan, the commission has asked the Fair Board to agree to portion of building rental fees going toward the loan.
The Fair Board’s response noted: “The Preble County Agricultural Society would like to express our willingness to assist the Preble County Commission to complete the Expo Expansion Project. This project will enhance not only the fairgrounds, but our community. The Preble County Agricultural Society has secured $50,000 from Reid Health Network and a $50,000 grant from the State of Ohio to use toward this project. Additionally, we will commit to the commissioners 50 percent of the rental fees received from the Expo Expansion for five years. We would encourage the commissioners to reduce the scope of the project to the construction of restrooms and showers, making the space more marketable to rent.
“In accordance with the Ohio Revised Code, an agricultural society is limited to the amount of indebtedness it shall incur. We cannot jeopardize our ability to conduct an annual Junior 4-H Fair or maintain the grounds for all other year-round events.”
With the support of the Preble County Agricultural Society, Reid Health, and the Preble County Pork Festival, Preble County Commissioners have already raised $150,000 for the project, meaning the current amount needed is $750,000. The board is not interested in financing an amount until it is lowered to approximately $400,000.
Preble County Commissioners sent Fair Board President Clinnie Stevenson a letter detailing sponsorship pricing for the Expo Expansion.
The board decided smaller donations would be grouped in tiers and put on a display board:
•Bronze donations of $500-1,000.
•Silver donations of $1,001-$2,500.
•Gold donations of $2,501-10,000.
•Platinum donations of $10,001 and up.
Gold and Platinum donors have the option to pledge an amount over five years and pay a smaller amount each year until they reach their Gold or Platinum status.
For larger donations:
•Companies or individuals who donate $25,000 are allowed to have two two feet by four feet signs on the building, as long as they purchase and maintain their own sign.
•Companies or individuals who donate $50,000 are allowed to have two three feet by seven feet signs on the building, plus cost of the sign and maintenance.
•The first entity to donate $350,000 (20 percent of the project) will have naming rights for the life of the building, but are expected to purchase and maintain their own sign.
“The way [Commissioner Rodney Creech] explained it to me is, he is looking for no one to be stuck with any kind of a debt on this building. He is claiming we will not have any debt on this building whatsoever. The only thing they are requesting is any money we make off of it pay the balance of what they need to put into this building,” Stevenson said.
“He tried to stress it that we are not going to be responsible for being in any kind of debt. It is just, we are going to be paying half the amount of money we are making off the building.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH