The Benton County Supervisor's heard from Dale Seeck, of the fair board, a few weeks ago who shared that the board had contacted Farmers Savings Bank in Vinton, about a loan, to renovate the grandstands. The Fair Board plans to replace the wooden seating with metal seating.
The Benton County Fair is seeking assistance from the county for the project that is estimated at $170,000. The board will be putting $50,000 toward the project. The fair board is seeking possible grants through Benton Development Group as well as fundraising. The board is also seeking donations from other entities that might contribute. A fundraising letter is being written to send out to a list of possible donors. The hope is to raise at least $30,000 through fundraising efforts.
The board is also considering the possibility of naming the grandstands and other buildings and are also working on upgrading some of the lighting.
This year marks the 150thanniversary of the Benton County Agricultural Society. The goal is to have all of this completed by the 2022 Fair that will be held in June.
Benton County Attorney David Thompson explained that according to Iowa Law (174.19 - Report of County Aid - A society shall not receive an appropriation from a county under this chapter, until the society submits a financial statement to the county board of supervisors. The statement shall show all expenditures of moneys appropriated to the society from the county in the previous year. The financial statement submitted to the board of supervisors shall include vouchers related to the expenditures.) he wasn't positive that the board would qualify for assistance.
Thompson said that when coming to the board to inquire about financial; assistance, they should provide detailed information as required by the Iowa Code. The attorney asked about the board's financial statements, and the fair board responded that they had been published in the area newspapers in January.
According to Iowa law, the Fair Board must provide annual detailed financial statements and payment information to the Benton County Board of Supervisors. Thompson emphasized that without the documents, they are not eligible to receive county funding.
Thompson told the supervisors that without this information they legally couldn't give the fair board any money. Thompson also requested a copy of the fair board's by-laws.
The fair board will continue to seek donations. The Supervisors also suggested requesting monies from the LOSST funds in Vinton as the town benefits from the fairgrounds.