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County OKs $30,000 for fairground maintenance

Island County commissioners approved $30,000 for maintenance of the Island County Fairgrounds Monday, although management of the property remains uncertain.

During last week’s work session, commissioners agreed the best course was to find a contractor to manage the Island County fairgrounds for one year.

Monday’s vote to put some “placeholder” funding toward the fairgrounds was part of the larger discussion about the Capital Improvement Plan, which needed to move forward this week.

That plan will now go to the Island County Planning Commission for discussion and public comment.

Fair supporters released the $71,000 Island County Fairgrounds Master Plan earlier this year, which called for the demolition of about half the buildings.

The unpopular $10 million proposal would have turned the facility into an island event center over a 10-year period.

Commissioners, wanting to invest in a short-term solutions, have directed staff to reach out to the Port of South Whidbey, the parks district and the fair association to find out what it would take to put out a request for property management proposals.

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