Delaware County commissioners are to discuss the transfer of county-owned property inside the county fairgrounds to the Delaware County Fair Board on Thursday, July 7.
County Assistant Prosecutor Aric Hochstettler has expressed concerns to commissioners about the county being named in a liability lawsuit if a person was injured on fairgrounds property that is owned by the county.
County officials have been in discussions with fair manager Sandy Kuhn. “The commissioners wanted to hold a public forum because it is public land,” Kuhn said.
Kuhn said that she and fair board president Frank Reinhard will be in attendance July 7.
Hochstettler told commissioners in May that, even though the fair board maintains and manages the fairgrounds, the county could be named in a liability lawsuit.
At that time Hochstettler suggested transferring the titles of the property to the fair board. “If all the property is titled in the name of the (fair board), you don’t even have the issue of who’s the owner,” he said.
Hochstettler told commissioners they could stipulate that if the land were no longer used by the fair board as a fairgrounds, the land could revert back to the county.
Commissioners asked Hochstettler in their May meeting to proceed with arranging a work session between the county and the fair board. “You’ve raised a liability that has been there for a while but (we) don’t want it to linger,” Commission President Barb Lewis said.
The county owns nine parcels inside the fairgrounds and the fair board owns eight, according to county officials.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin