New rabbit/poultry barn will go out to bid next month

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

NCW Fair board members and staff have torn down the old rabbit/poultry barn and are preparing to go out to bid on the new barn in January. The group decided to save on costs by doing the demolition of the old barn and the electrical wiring for the new barn themselves. The roof project for the show arena will go out to bid together with the new barn.

The fair board began its Nov. 15 regular meeting by discussing this upcoming project.

In other capital improvement projects, the fair board has applied for a Waterville Community Fund grant in order to redo the landscaping around the NCW Fair entry sign and the wagon area.

Fair staff gave reports on recent fair conferences that they have attended. Maintenance and Operations Director Ed Daling, Fair Manager Carolyn Morley and Fair Board President Clint Wall attended the Washington State Fair Association Conference in Vancouver Oct. 17-20. Morley reported that a Young Professionals workshop at the conference was especially helpful.

At the Rocky Mountain Association of Fairs meeting in Billings, Mont., Nov. 7-10, Morley and Wall met with representatives of Romeo Entertainment to discuss the fair’s grandstand show. They also met with Sunny Saunders, a fair consultant from the Kitsap County Fair, to discuss how to make the NCW Fair grandstand show viable.

Winter storage at the fair filled up fast, with only a few small spots still available for rent. Winter storage funds will be about equal to last year. Next year’s completion of the new rabbit/poultry barn should bring revenues up further.

This year there was a problem with premium checks in which incorrect amounts were printed on the checks. A mailing was sent out to check recipients asking that they not cash the checks, and instead exchange them for valid checks at the treasurer’s office in the Douglas County Courthouse in Waterville. In 2018, the fair board had decided that premium checks would only be issued for amounts over $5. However, this change was not reflected in the fair book this year. Beginning in 2019, this policy will take effect.

Morley and Daling presented the 2019 budget. Numbers for the budget were based on revenues and expenditure in the 2017 and 2018 budgets. The county commissioners have also been presented with the budget and have expressed approval.

Some changes and additions to the fair bylaws were presented to the fair board by the executive committee. The board voted to adopt the changes.

The Friends of the Fair, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, needs to establish a four-member board which cannot include any current fair board members and must include some former fair board members. It is hoped that the board can be established by early next year.

The fair board learned that the annual Friends of the NCW Fair Crab and Prime Rib Dinner and Auction will be held March 9.

The fair board held its most recent meeting on Dec. 17. During this meeting officers were elected for the coming year.