After months of delay, tonight the Gibson County Redevelopment Commission approves a major fairgrounds project for Gibson County.
The commission votes unanimously to grant four-million dollars to the project, but it's not the amount the board had originally hoped for.
Since the project was first proposed nearly eight months ago, the Fair Board hoped to have things like a new 4-H center and convention center complete by fair time in 2015. The commission's decision now has the project stretched out over a longer period of time, but board members say they're just happy to finally get started.
Wear and tear on the Gibson County Fairgrounds have had Fair Board members pushing for a major improvement project since last year. "The fairgrounds have been there for over one hundred fifty years. Things have just slowly, back in the day, when they built the concession stands and stuff fifty, sixty years ago. They've lived their life and it's time to replace them," says Charlie Woodruff.
Fair Board members bring forward a multimillion dollar plan, but had to wait it out through months of hurdles. Fair Board President, Charlie Woodruff, says the county's Redevelopment Commission delayed a vote six times. "We started last October, was when we went public with the project, and it's finally come to conclusion tonight," says Woodruff.
Tonight Commissioners vote 5-0 granting four million dollars for the project. The board will receive one million each year, over the next four years, but it's not the amount the board had originally hoped for. "We asked for 5.5 million dollars to help do the project."
Woodruff says they're excited to get started, and he says fair goers will see changes by next summer. "Before the fair of 2015, we will have the 4-H building built."
Woodruff says they will have to stretch out the project longer than anticipated, due to the funding agreement, but plans to improve the infrastructure, build a convention center, and storage building will all take place. Construction is set to start in August.
The funding for the project comes from the Toyota TIFF district. The board plans to receive donations from some local business and community members.
If you would like to donate to the project, contact the Fair Board at 812-385-3445k, or you can email the Fair Board at firstname.lastname@example.org