(Posted March 3, 2017)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Due to drainage deficiencies, heavy rains leave parts of the Madison County Fairgrounds underwater, a fact county fairgoers know all too well.
On Feb. 27, a crew from the Madison County Engineer’s Office began work to help alleviate the problem. In a project slated to take two to three weeks, the crew is installing 12 new catch basins and 1,400 feet of 12-inch drainage pipe near the Elm Street entrance, by the Della Selsor building, in the midway area, and out to the quarter midget racing track.
“The midway area sits very low. There’s no good way for water to get out. Anytime there’s a downpour, it has a tendency to collect water, and it’s right where there’s a lot of foot traffic,” said Bryan Dhume, county engineer. “This won’t fix everything, but it will give the water a place to run to.”
The Engineer’s Office is providing the labor and equipment for the project. The Madison County commissioners are paying for the materials at a cost of $22,000.
The drainage work is part of a $112,000 improvement project at the fairgrounds that also includes paving and the purchase of horse stalls.
Dhume said his staff is providing labor and equipment for the paving portion of the project, as well, with the target areas being the Garfield Avenue entrance and the loop around the midway. Work is slated to start in early May and finish by the end of May. The commissioners are paying for the materials at a cost of $41,000.
A grant from the Ohio Agricultural Society is covering the $49,000 needed to purchase 49 stalls for the 4-H horse barn. Currently, the senior fair board rents stalls every year for fair week.
“By purchasing the stalls, they won’t have to pay rent, and the stalls will be there year-round which could attract other horse events to the fairgrounds,” Dhume said, adding that the purchase goes hand in hand with a project now in the works to put a roof over the horse arena.