Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

February 12, 2013

Fair barn policies get a look

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — The current policies used for the rental of Garvin County’s fair barns for a variety of events has some wondering if it can be done better.

A discussion during Monday’s regular county commissioners’ meeting focused on the process now in place to rent out the fairgrounds’ facilities in Pauls Valley for events ranging from private parties to really big events involving a whole lot of visitors.

This closer look started with a request from the city of Pauls Valley for county commissioners to waive a hefty deposit now required by county commissioners to use the fairgrounds. The request was for a boer goat show making a return to PV in April.

That request was easily solved as commissioners agreed a letter would be sufficient guaranteeing the clean up of the facilities after the event.

Policies now in place call for a fee to use the facilities, while a deposit is ultimately returned when it’s determined those making the rental have adequately cleaned up afterwards.

“We don’t want the money from the deposit,” said District 3 Commissioner Johnny Mann.

“Our main deal is getting it cleaned back up.”

District 2 Commissioner Shon Richardson said a deposit for the fair barns’ rental is meant to ensure clean up after an event. It’s also meant to keep from having to pull county employees away other duties to get the clean up done.

“We don’t set the fees,” Richardson said. “The fees are set by the fair board. The deposit set by us is a way to guarantee it gets cleaned up, and it’s working.

“We don’t have the time and manpower to clean the fairgrounds after one of these events,” he said.

One new fair board member believes a closer look should be taken at the policies now in place to rent the facilities on the north side of Wacker Park.

Randy McGee believes something needs to be done with those policies as a way of attracting even more events to the fairgrounds throughout the year.

“It’s structured out there where we don’t use that facility to its utmost,” said Randy McGee.

“We have a facility that’s not being used the way it should be,” he said.

“We could have all kinds of events out there; the kind of events that bring people in from all over the country.

“We need to have a more user friendly process for an event to use the fairgrounds.”

McGee admits the current process works for many events or organizations but more can be done to make the fairgrounds more of a destination point for a variety of events that don’t normally come to Pauls Valley.

“I’m talking about weekend events where people are coming into the town and spending at least one night, staying in hotels here, spending money here,” he said. “We need to figure out a better process.

“We want to see the process structured where we can start using the fair barn for more events.”

Mann said the first step toward any changes with fair barn rental policies would need to first be taken by the fair board.

“The fair board is going to have to get active out there,” Mann said.