GIRARD -- With the Crawford County fairgrounds in need of major work, the fair board is seeking help from its friends.
At Friday's Crawford County Commission meeting, a fair board member asked the commission's help to be a pass-through agency for tax-deductible donations. The county agreed to do so.
"The Crawford County Fair Board is going to work with the Girard Area Foundation through their 501(c)3 to create a capital improvement fund at the fairgrounds," said Craig Garrett, fair board member. "Everyone knows the issues at the grandstands."
Garrett said that it would take years of revenues from the fair to be able to pay for what is truly needed.
And what was needed was identified in an earlier Morning Sun article: The grandstands need to come down after nearly 75 years. Likely later this spring, after the fair board moves some of the other pieces of the fairgrounds out of the way, county work crews are going to come in and demolish the wooden seats, which were likely built before 1938.
Temporary seating will go into place until new grandstands can be purchased.
But in order to seek donations from the public and make those donations tax-deductible, the fair board must use the Girard Area Foundation. But a municipality must be used in order to withdraw those funds, and that's where the county commission comes in.
"We come to the county commission and you issue us a check. You're a midway point for that," Garrett said. "We partner with you on that, and we've had a great partnership."
Commissioners said that the agreement made sense. Garrett said the fund would also be able to be used for other purposes.
"It'd be a capital improvement thing, so it's not just tied to the grandstands. The horse barns and others can continue to improve," Garrett said. "The grandstands are our first priority, but when that's done, we could do more."
In other action, the commissioners heard a legislative update from County Counselor Jim Emerson by way of the Kansas Assocation of Counties.
Part of that update involved the status of gaming bills in the Legislature, but also discussed an open records bill pushed by State Sen. Jacob LaTurner (R-Pittsburg). Emerson said that bill was under consideration for a compromise.
Emerson also spoke about an industrial fixtures bill and a bill that would eliminate the mortgage registration fee.
Finally, commissioners spoke about the possibility of reviving the county's adopt-a-street program after Commissioner Carl Wood said he'd had interest from a few groups to help clean certain roads.
"It's just a project that a lot of organizations adopt. There's a sign right there recognizing their organization," said Commissioner Bob Kmiec. "If they want, they can do it on a more permanent basis."