Costly projects loom for 4-H fair board

The 4-H Inc. board met Tuesday evening at the 4-H Center and discussed some big-ticket items for improving the 4-H grounds.The addition of restrooms to the north end of the commercial building, a new sound system and revamping the bleachers were discussed.“I give more priority (to the bleachers) even than the restrooms,” said Jon Kissinger, as this is a safety issue.Aaron McDevitt had one company looking at the bleacher situation and reported when asked for their recommendation they said, “Never let anyone on those bleachers ever.”Because of a bow in the wall and a drainage issue with the location, this will be a big-ticket fix, but the company gave the option of doing a section at a time over a few years. The cost to do it all now would run $30,420. No decision was made.As to the restroom issue, Cindy Barnett, Extension Educator told of the DeKalb 4-H who purchased portable toilets from a company who maintained and serviced them during the summer as well as stored them for the winter. The board will look into this and other options.Jason Nicodemus reported an estimate of $16,000 for a new sound system if 4-H Inc. does the wiring or $24,000 if it is done by the company. Nicodemus said this is $10,000 less than three years ago. The board will consider this.In other business, the board moved to: • allow the Swine board to investigate a switch to a portable structure to build for their office as this would allow them to construct it without a permit and no work on tiles.• donate $200 to Olivia Western toward the trip to National 4-H Congress Nov. 26 to 30. Western earned this trip with a winning essay, one of five chosen in Indiana.• offer Corina Worden, who wishes to purchase land behind her house on 700 West Lincolnway, a counter offer of $4,000, or $5,000 on a five-year lease or $6,000 on a 10-year lease with all survey and associated costs paid by the purchaser. The lease stipulates if Worden leaves early, the land and improvements go back to 4-H. The vote was 6 to 5 in favor of the offer. Worden had countered $2,500 to the 4-H Inc. original offer of $5,000. • winterize the concession stands at a cost of $350, to save an estimated $2,500 for heating.In other reports:• Tara VanHouten reported for the nominating committee that three have confirmed they are running for board seats: Aaron McDevitt and Cathy Heritier for re-election and Tim Johnson. Dave Rupley’s and Chad Nix’s terms are up, but they have not confirmed they are running again at the time of printing.• Jeff Geiger reported the purchase of a new flat top grill at $300. • Tom Zeisig, groundskeeper, reported $16,000 in winter storage income so far. • The annual meeting is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 18 with a beef and noodle dinner at 6 p.m. followed by the business meeting. Four directors will be elected.