(Posted Sept. 16, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Madison County commissioners are taking a second look at another improvement project at the Madison County Fairgrounds.
The county received approximately $57,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding to rehab the delapidated bathroom facility next to the fairgrounds grandstand. After more consideration, the commissioners and their grant administrator, Whitaker Wright, are looking into other options.
Commissioner Paul Gross said he wants the facility to match the quality of other buildings recently erected at the fairgrounds, and he wants to see its usefulness expanded by adding showers and handicap accessible walkways. Currently, there are not sufficient grant dollars to cover such expenses.
Wright suggested that the county hire an architect to make recommendations, including whether or not to raze the building and start over or to work with all or part of the existing building. An architect could provide design options, as well as follow-through on state approvals and inspections, Wright said.
Questions to be answered are: what is needed, how much it will cost, and how will any costs over the grant funding amount be covered.
Wright said the county could look into completing the project in phases so as to take advantage of another block grant funding cycle. The next grant application deadline is June 2016.
Gross suggested contacting the Central Ohio Quarter Midget Racing Association for a possible financial partnership on the project. The group runs races at and maintains the midget car racing track located on the fairgrounds. In an agreement forged a few years ago for use of the space, the association stated they would return the favor by helping with the rehabilitation of the grandstand bathrooms, Gross said.