In the winter of 2015, a firm was contracted to do a feasibility study to determine if it was feasible to relocate the fairgrounds, with facilities to host other events outside of the fair, to the adjacent site owned by the fair board. The result of this study was yes there is a need for these facilities and we could potentially utilize the fairgrounds year round for activities and events. In addition, these events would have a very noticeable economic benefit for our businesses in Gallia County.
It was also during this time that in the morning of February 25, 2015 the 1961 Commercial Building was a total loss due to a fire. With these things in mind, the board put the Long Range Committee to the task of putting together a comprehensive plan to provide for new fairgrounds and facilities to host events year round. This process included hosting several community meetings for getting input of using the insurance money from the fire to rebuild on the current site or construct a new building on the new site. Ideas were also gathered on what they would like to see at the new site. This information was the beginning stages of the comprehensive plan for the relocation project.
During the public meetings, funding of the relocation efforts was also discussed. Several options were presented and discussed and in the late spring and early summer months directors met with the commissioners to discuss the potential of placing a one-quarter of a percent sales tax issue on the November ballot. This was agreed to and the issue was voted on in November, but unfortunately failed by 149 votes. The issue was again agreed to be placed on the spring primary ballot, but this time it failed by 248 votes.
It was during this process that a subcommittee of the Long Range Committee was formed. It was named the Relocation Committee who’s primary responsibility was to seek out ideas for raising funds to move to the new site. This committee was composed of directors and interested individuals who will work with the fair board with the end goal of raising money to make the move happen.
During this same time the Long Range Committee was successful in applying for a grant through the Ohio Department Of Agriculture Capital Improvements Fund.