As the snow starts to fly, the farthest thing from your mind might be the Delaware County Fair, but it shouldn’t be. According to the Delaware County Agricultural Society (DCAS), there are events going on year-round at the fairgrounds as well as work being done to improve the grounds for the 2017 fair.
Last March, Delaware County residents passed a new 3-percent lodging tax to be used for improvements to the Delaware County Fairgrounds’ buildings and facilities. The fairgrounds was constructed in 1938, and many of the structures are in need of repair or replacement.
Attendees of the 2016 Delaware County Fair might have noticed some new toilets in the restrooms under the grandstand and in the Merchant’s Building, new landscaping on Pavilion Hill, new panic doors in the Coliseum and Merchant’s Building, new water hydrants throughout the fairgrounds and new painting underneath the west side of the grandstand.
Two of the more expensive lodging tax projects are the installation of new fiber optic phone lines and new water lines. The DCAS worked with the Delaware County Commissioners and the City of Delaware to help fund Phase I and Phase II of the water lines, equipping the fairgrounds with a better, more efficient water supply.
The lodging tax is also funding Phase III and Phase IV of the water lines, which includes putting water hydrants in every part of the fairgrounds as well as replacing old, leaky water lines with new lines that have saved the DCAS thousands of dollars each year in water bills. DCAS worked with Consolidated Electric Cooperative and Delaware County to install fiber optic lines which will bring the phone and Internet systems into the 21st century.
Work to continually enhance and expand both of these projects will continue for the next two years, a news release states.
The DCAS board is also working to develop a five -year strategic plan that will outline the long- term plans for the use of lodging tax monies. This will include which buildings will be demolished, which ones will stay, and with what improvements and what type and where new buildings will be constructed. The board is just beginning the plan and will be sharing the plans with county residents as it develops.
“We want to be diligent in planning for the future of the fairgrounds based upon what both the fair and the community needs. It can’t be done overnight, so we ask residents to please be patient as we develop our plan, ask for community input and move forward accordingly,” said Pat Paykoff, Delaware County Agricultural Society board president. “You will see improvements each year as we move forward with a plan.”
The 2017 Delaware County Fair will run from Saturday, Sept. 16 through Saturday, Sept. 23. The 72nd edition of the Little Brown Jug will be raced on Thursday, Sept. 21. For information on the Delaware County Fair or the Little Brown Jug, visit delawarecountyfair.com or littlebrownjug.com.