GREENVILLE – In their first regular meeting since the fire that destroyed the swine barn at the fairgrounds, the Darke County Fair Board addressed the fire and their next step.
According to President Dean Neff, investigators from the insurance companies and the state fire marshal will be on scene late this week to try and determine a cause for the fire. Approximately 25 investigators representing the individuals with equipment in the barn, fair board and Darke County Commission are expected to sift through the ruble.
At their October meeting, the board discussed fundraising to build a new swine barn and dog barn and transition the swine barn into the goat barn. Neff stated the fundraising plan will go forward as planned unless the fire marshal determines that it can’t. Because of the unknown outcome of the fire investigation, the board rescinded last month’s motion to hire J. Matthew Hughes to complete the assessment and begin the fundraising effort. However, Hughes will continue to hold onto the $12,000 and put it toward the fundraising effort.
Towards the end of the meeting, board members Cindy Riffle and Brian Rismiller gave up their seats on the board to two new board members. Dave Singer and Greg Pearson were elected by the Darke County Agricultural Society membership at the 2018 fair. The board also reorganized during the meeting with Neff elected to serve another term as president. Jerry Marker will be the new vice president and Doug Martin will continue as the board’s treasurer.
The board extended a contract to Beth Martin to continue as the 4-H coordinator with the same contract as previous. The motion was approved with an 8-2 vote. Jim Zumbrink and Dave Niley voted in opposition and Doug Martin abstained.
The board also narrowly approved a motion, 6-5, to continue with Variety Attractions for another year to provide entertainment for the fair. Voting against the motion were Zumbrink, Marker, Niley, Pearson and Neff. The terms and conditions will be the same as they’ve been for the past 11 years.
The board went into executive session to discuss a contract for this year’s fair entertainment.