To the editor:
On March 15, voters of Delaware County will vote to approve a hotel bed tax of 3 percent over a period of five years that will benefit your fairgrounds. The money generated by this hotel bed tax is specifically earmarked for the use on the infrastructure of the fairgrounds, such as roads, electrical grid, plumbing, drainage, building improvements and restrooms. None of the money will go towards operations, salaries or harness racing purses.
The fairground was initially built in 1938, with a number of the buildings nearing 80 years old. Needless to say, the time has come to update our infrastructure.
The Delaware County Fair has a long tradition of providing an enjoyable place for people to gather to demonstrate skills and continues to be a great focal point for the county’s youth to display their projects. A youth starting out in 4-H may not know how to prepare their animal for the show ring, and will ask others for advice. Each year our youth will return to the fairgrounds to grow skills necessary for a successful project. Eventually, our youth will take the role of mentors, rather than mentee. I’m sure many of your families and friends can relate to this, as it’s a generational tradition in our community.
The Delaware County Agricultural Society does not want to tax the hard-working citizens of Delaware County. The voters of Delaware County will have an opportunity to provide long-term capital that will improve your fairgrounds. The disbursement of the funds would be controlled by the Delaware County administrator. The year-around economic impact to Delaware County from the fairgrounds is several million dollars per year, not only from the week-long fair, but the horse shows and sales, equipment auctions and other events.
Support for the hotel bed tax has come from Delaware County commissioners, Delaware City Council, Ohio Wesleyan University, Farm Bureau of Delaware County and the Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce.
It is for these reasons that we ask you, the voters of Delaware County, to help us ensure that your fairgrounds will be around for future generations. Please join me, along with many others, in voting “yes” for the proposed hotel bed tax on March 15.
Frank J. Reinhard