WARSAW – As the two-pronged lawsuit against the Kosciusko County Fair Board continues into its second year, officials say their finances are very limited.
The board, on Monday, March 11, focused on a list of upcoming fundraisers and other programs as it prepared for a second consecutive 4-H fair this summer without the benefit of motorized racing or any concerts in the grandstand.
Asked if their finances are still above water, officials indicated yes, but not by much.
Treasurer Sheal Dirck said they are avoiding new expenses.
“Considering we lost $100,000 in revenue last year and spent $100,000 in legal fees, we’re tight,” Dirck said.
Dirck recapped the fair board’s financial report, saying that at the end of February, it had $4,500 in cash on hand.
The fair board is embroiled in a suit by four nearby residents who are upset with the resurgence of motorized racing at the fairgrounds, despite an agreement more than two decades old that prohibited motorized racing due to the noise.
Fair officials contend renewed racing is key to sustaining the fairgrounds and want to renew the tradition of summertime racing on weekends.
A judge placed an injunction on racing that creates a large amount of noise until the suit is resolved.
The suit seeks to prohibit noisy events and motorized racing.
Shepherd and Fair Board President Kevin Harris reiterated the need to develop more fundraising ideas, and the need for more people to volunteer their support.
They concurred with others at the meeting that the suit’s outcome could impact the fair itself.
“When you read the articles that are out there, it’s all about the race track. It’s all about the race track. This is about the existence of our county fair,” Shepherd said.
Much of the nearly two-hour meeting was spent discussing plans for fundraisers, one of which is Saturday’s barbecue sales at the fairgrounds. The meat is prepared by a group of local barbecue cooks. Carry out begins at 3:30 p.m. Dinners will be served beginning at 4 p.m. Meals are $9 and a pound of pulled pork is available for the same price.
The board is still seeking sponsors for the Easter egg hunt, tentatively scheduled for April 20, one day before Easter. Anyone wanting to help should call the fair office at (574) 269-1823.
In other matters, the board:
- Approved plans to partner with The Liberty Sewing Circle and Kosciusko County Senior Services on a fundraising breakfast. No date was announced. The sewing circle makes quilts for veterans who live in the county.
- Approved plans by Junior Leaders to support a landscaping project for the fairground’s memorial garden. The work would include a pavilion, benches and new plants. Total cost is expected to be about $28,000. Mindy Wise, the 4-H youth development coordinator, said they’ve also lined up grant money through two sources. One is from ArrowHead Country RC&D and another is a two-for-one matching program with Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District. They are also seeking donations. To learn more, call the extension office at (574) 372-2340.
- The annual home and outdoor show will be at the fairgrounds on March 22-24.
- A motorcycle bike ride is planned as a fundraiser for May 11 at the fairgrounds.
- Supporters of the Facebook page, We Want Another Warsaw Speedway, is collecting money to benefit Kosciusko County Community Fair Inc. They are seeking $1,000 and have donations of $255 as of early Tuesday, March 12.