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Fair signs contracts with Madison County & racing
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DARLINGTON – Chair Jack Wiegel called the Lafayette County Fair Committee meeting to order Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the County Board room.
Madison County
    Madison County, a popular rock band from Madison, will be coming to the fair on Wednesday night and performing from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. A contract was approved to pay the group $5,000 for the show. Madison County will provide their own sound and lighting systems. A RV will be provided for the band by the fair. Electrical at the stage area is up to snuff. A bus to transport the bands followers to the show will be looked into.
    Lafayette County Speedway, known as Lafayette County Promotions, LLC (LCP) in the contract, and the committee discussed this seasons contract. The contract states that LCP shall in good faith conduct 13 to 16 races for the season; provide fire and rescue personnel; furnish sufficient portable toilets; pay for electric, sewer and water incurred at the fairgrounds. The lease for the 2017 season is $600, which must be paid by the end of May, 2017. It also states that racing will conclude no later that 11:00 p.m. on race nights. The committee approved the contract and will send it to the full Lafayette County Board for final approval.
    A second contract with LCP was approved by the Fair Committee. The contract states the Fair will pay LCP $12,700 to race during the fair.
    Matt Crist from the LCP asked the committee if they want the LCP to take care of the weeds? We will be spraying. The committee said that would be fine with the committee. Along with taking care of the weeds, Crist, making the committee aware of what the LCP group has been doing for the Fair grounds: Spent over $3,000 fixing the guard rail; we put six loads of gravel in the pit area, this was donated to us, but the Fair Grounds benefit from it; we took several loads of silt out of the catch basin in the three and four corner, this will help that area dry out faster going forward. The committee thanked Crist for the groups work to the grounds.
    Jack Sauer mentioned they are stripping off clay at Lange Quarry and was wondering if the track could use any more clay. Crist thought the track could use some clay. This will be looked into.
Food Stand
    The committee approved a contract with the Darlington Masons to run the food stand in the stage area on the infield. The Mason’s will run the stand and will pay the Fair 30% of the net proceeds from the operation of the food stand.
Underage Drinking
    A letter was distributed to the committee members, that was written by someone who worked at the fair. The letter addressed underage drinking at the fair, specifically at the tractor pull. Steve Spensley said, “I think we are policing it very well. I was down there at the tractor pull last year and I didn’t see anyone too out-of-shape. I was watching for that.” Sauer said, “The letter suggested that anyone in the infield should be 21 years of age. I don’t want to go that far.” Wiegel said, “We have a police presence down there, I don’t know what else we could do.” Sauer continued, “Beer is one of the main reason we are able to make this fair work at all (financially). These concerns have been brought up before and I take them seriously, but I don’t want to screw up the whole parade either. I guess we think about it and bring it back to a future meeting if we need to.” Olson stated that there were several police working Saturday night and they did a great job.
    In other business:
    •Approved a contract with Jeff Monson of Monson Septic Pumping & Portable Restrooms for portable restrooms, hand washing units, etc. and to clean the fair’s bathrooms during the fair. The fair will pay Monson $2,650 for the service.
    •Approved the Livestock Committee plan to go ahead with new electrical outlets to be installed in the hog and sheep barns. The Livestock Committee will pay for the upgrade. Norse Electric looked at it and stated the main box will handle it.
    •Jolante Olson brought up the fair books, which are distributed to exhibitors. Her concern was a list of donators to the fair is listed only in the book. Olson said, “More people would see the list if it was put in the Shoppers Guide and the Republican Journal.” Gerald Heimann said, “I think it would be a good idea to put the list in the papers, that way the whole public would see who’s supporting the fair.” Olson will look into what it will take to get that done.
    •Olson brought up fair exhibitors ribbons. Olson said she got a box full of the ribbons back from the ribbon winners. Olson said, “People are not keeping the ribbons.” Olson suggested that they use stickers for awards and if they want a ribbon they come to the office and claim their ribbon. Olson said, “We’re wasting a lot of money on ribbons that people don’t want.” A motion was made and approved to go with the new plan.
    •Something that the Fair has been talking about is changing the parking situation on the main fair road that passes by the cattle sheds. Right now there is limited parking on the south side of the road. That parking will be eliminated. Sauer said, “It will make things a lot less congested if we get rid of those six or seven spots. Especially for cattle trailers that are bringing animals in and out of the fair.” A motion was made to eliminate the parking on the main fair road, along the guardrail – approved.
    •The committee considered other entertainment to fill in empty spots in the Sunday schedule.
    •Sauer is looking at additional bleachers. The committee gave Sauer permission to pursue the bleachers.
    The next meeting will be April 19 at 7:00 p.m. at the County Board room.