Steam Threshers want longer lease at Plain City park

(Posted March 29, 2019)

By Michael Williamson, Staff Writer

The future of the relationship between the Miami Valley Steam Threshers Association and the village of Plain City is up in the air.

Two years remain on the lease agreement between the Steam Threshers Association and the village. The association hosts a four-day festival each July at the village’s Pastime Park.

At the March 25 village council meeting, Village Administrator Nathan Cahall asked council for direction on how to proceed with discussions over the future of the lease.

“The Steam Threshers Association has been in discussions with staff related to an extension of their lease,” Cahall said. “What’s being proposed by the lessee in this case would be an extension of the time, pushing the expiration out five years.”

With an extension, the Steam Threshers Association could show companies that showcase tractors at the festival that they have a guaranteed venue.

The village’s plans to update the park’s campground area with additional lots and improvements to pathways and spaces has members of the Steam Threshers Association concerned that space will be limited.

“We came up here 30 years ago, and we’ve been grateful,” said Gary Gallimore, president of the association. “But the biggest problem I have is Plain City, the village, continually wants more and more money and continually takes more and more away. There’s a breaking point there.”

Gallimore said that changes over the years, including loss of the grandstands and loss of space due to the addition of campsites, has put pressure on the Steam Threshers Association.

“I’ll be honest with everybody here. I don’t hide it from anybody and I try to be honest. We are actively looking elsewhere,” Gallimore said.

He added that if the loss of space causes the show to lose some of the tractor companies, the show cannot continue.

“This is my stomping grounds, and I hate to leave. But, looking down the road, we have no choice,” he said.

Asa Schreck, also with the Steam Threshers Association, said the reality is that the organization needs to be able to guarantee more time.

“We need at least five years on the lease,” Schreck said. “You got to go to these places and plan four to five years out.”

Council agreed to continue working with the Steam Threshers Association on the lease agreement and hopes to have a meeting with the association in the next week or two.

Messenger photo by Michael Williamson
Plain City Police Chief Dale McKee (right) recognizes officers for their efforts in assisting the Union County Sheriff’s Office: (from left) Stephen Drake, David Drudy, Aaron Howard and Clint Lake.

Also at the meeting, officers with the Plain City Police Department were recognized for their efforts in assisting the Union County Sheriff’s Department with several investigations. Officers Aaron Howard, David Drudy, Stephen Drake and Clint Lake assisted Union County Sheriff’s deputies on Sept. 24 during a dispute at the Wendy’s on State Route 161 near Dublin where a woman pulled a gun on another woman. Officers Drudy and Howard also were recognized for assisting in a burglary investigation near Unionville Center in Union County. In both instances, suspects were apprehended.

Additionally, Sgt. Tharon Prather and Ofc. Josh Hirtzinger were recognized for responding to a domestic dispute incident that concluded with Prather successfully reviving an individual.

“I just wanted to say thank you guys for doing a great job,” said Chief Dale McKee. “I’m always amazed and pleased with the efforts of the Plain City Police Department.

In other meeting news, council:

  • approved the award of the municipal building construction project bid to 2K General Co. and authorized the village administrator to enter into a contract connection with a spending limit of 110 percent of the bid amount. The cost of the project is $2.9 million and the limit of 110 percent was included to account for possible change orders during construction.
  • discussed making Gay Street from Bigelow Avenue to West Avenue a one-way street heading south to West Avenue.
  • discussed the possibility of including sidewalk and curb repairs to Main Street in the upcoming Ohio Department of Transportation resurfacing of State Route 161.
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