Archive for Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Board to target end of ‘freebies’ at county fair

July 18, 2007

Leavenworth County Fair Board president David Todd is in search of a few gatekeepers.

Todd spoke to fellow board members at Monday's monthly board meeting at the fairgrounds' administrative building in Tonganoxie about the need for more volunteers at the rodeo and demolition derby.

The two events are mainstays at the Leavenworth County Fair, which will be Aug. 7-11 at the fairgrounds.

Todd urged fellow members to round up people to help better monitor who comes in and out of the arena, including who is to be admitted for free.

"We've had this discussion over and over again, we've taken nothing in for the rodeo," Todd said. "There are too many freebies coming in through the back ... someone needs to be at the gate."

Todd said that with the addition of seating in recent months on the north side of the arena, another gate will need to be regulated, as well.

"It's hard enough to make money with this as it is," Todd said. "We've got to tighten this up and we've got to find some help to do it."

Monday's meeting was the board's final monthly meeting before the fair begins.

In compliance with KDHE

Trash that had been dumped near the soccer and baseball field parking lot in the northwest portion of the fairgrounds has been taken care of, Todd told the board Monday.

The debris was cleaned up last week and Todd sent photos of the cleaned-up area to Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials for review. He said he later received word that the fairgrounds is again in compliance with KDHE regulations.

In May, local residents voiced concerns about trash that apparently was being dumped by an unknown source or sources. Some of the trash, according to city officials, dated to the 2000 tornado that hit Tonganoxie.

A KDHE inspector reviewed the area in May to check whether the city was not illegally burying or using solid waste material with extra construction material as fill for the parking lot. Earlier this year, crews expanded the parking lot.

KDHE ruled that the city was in compliance and then directed the fair board association, which owns the land, about how to properly dispose of the waste.

Todd said after Monday's meeting that he had hoped to tend to the trash earlier, but it was difficult because of the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission's summer ball programs.

Shrine Rodeo to return

The Abdallah Shrine Rodeo won't be one and done at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.

The rodeo was contested for the first time in May in Tonganoxie after its former site, the Wyandotte County Fairgrounds, was sold to a water park developer.

Rodeo organizers did not immediately give word after the event as to whether they would return, but Todd said he recently received confirmation the Shriners would be back.

The board approved charging the group $7,000 for 2008 -- the same rent it charged this year. If Shrine officials opt to return in 2009, 2010 and 2011, the rent will be $7,500 each of those years, Todd said.

Parking at fair won't include north ball field

Tonganoxie Recreation Commission director Gayle Parker asked the board whether it could avoid using the outfield on the eastern-most TRC ball field for fair parking next month.

He said the Recreation Commission put $9,000 into upkeep of the field, which includes a temporary snow fence for the outfield "wall."

Parker said he would understand if the board wanted to use the land for parking, as the fair board association owns the land.

Board members said parking would not be an issue and that it would not use that area for parking.

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