OPINION PIECE BY LINDA SUTTER
One of the major Gems of our city and county is the Del Norte County Fairgrounds. Del Norte County citizens will have to make a decision on the November ballot on whether to keep our fairgrounds or to let it go. Let’s look into the future for just a moment to see what that entails.
The year is 2017 and the people have voted no to measure F, there will not be a fair. The state will come in and place a chain link fence around the entire grounds including the parking lot. There will no longer be maintenance provided to the grounds so within approximately 90 days we will begin to see an overgrowth in vegetation surrounding the parking lot and buildings. The Java Hut coffee shop will be removed. The bill board will no longer light up. All current businesses, athletics, and associations will no longer be allowed on the grounds. All the sweat and equity that the fairground manager as well as other community members placed into the fairgrounds will depreciate and will be for naught. Criminals and transients will reside. Wild animals, rats, and garbage will begin to fill in. By the end of the year, local businesses, will begin to feel the impact because the once utilized fairgrounds for many events throughout the year no longer take place. The hotels that were utilized to support the events as well as the restaurants will suffer with threats of closure adding still more devastation to this area.
Back to Measure F.
It is one quarter of one cent added onto sales tax. This tax is not added onto our property taxes and this tax will be a restrictive tax for the purpose of creating more events that will support the fairground. This tax will be in place for 7 years.
The question is what will be done with the money. First and foremost, there will be a Fair Board and people are already vying for positions in the November election. This is where you the people need to make it straight that these positions will be unpaid positions. No stipends because after all, we are all in this together to make a better fair that can rely on its own income. The only person paid will be the fair manager, staff, and maintenance.
How the fair has grown over the years on a frugal budget.