JOHN DAY County Commissioner Boyd Britton is holding a meeting at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 3, to get community input on the future of the old Sales Barn at the Grant County Fairgrounds.
The meeting will be at the Sales Barn on the fairgrounds.
I just want to have more people take a look at it and see if thats what the community really wants, to lose this building, Britton said this week.
The Grant County Fair Board recently proposed tearing down the barn, which has been closed since inspectors discovered various safety hazards in the structure and its heat and electricial systems last summer.
The board proposed recycling the wood from the building into frontier facades reflecting county history.
Britton said in recent meetings he opposes tearing down the building, and he wants to look ways to preserve the building for its historic and sentimental value. He encouraged anyone interested to attend and look at the buildings needs.
If theres a community groundswell to save it, then we ought to take a look at it, he said. He felt there would be people willing to contribute money for repairs, and that such an effort wouldnt necessarily compete with the Fair Boards fundraising to address other needs on the fairgrounds.
Fair Board president Les Zaitz on Wednesday sent out a memo notifying fair supporters of the meeting, in case they were interested in attending. He also included a summary of the boards position, stating that the Pavilion has been identified as the main priority for repairs and upgrades at this time.
The Fair Board has estimated that repairs of the Sales Barn could run $20,000 to $50,000. The Fair Board has said it doesnt have adequate funds for such a restoration in its budget, and that it has already identified other priorities in a strategic planning that began last year.
The site visit organized by Britton will follow a 1 p.m. contractors walk-through of the Pavilion, scheduled by the Fair Board. That session was arranged to get expert advice on improvements that could make the Pavilion a better venue for events and programs that would generate revenue to keep the fairgrounds solvent.
Attached is a memo submitted by the Fair Board to the County Court earlier this month, and the minutes of a Court discussion of the concerns.