There is nothing new in the financial report for the Jackson County Expo; the balance is in the negative to the tune of about $175,000. Surely, every resident knows that by now, but the question is not what is happening, but what does the Board intend to do about it. Those are the usual discussions at Fair Board meetings, and Jan 17 was no exception.
Two new members were welcomed to the Board, John Anhorn and Jim Teece. Anhorn wasted little time in jumping into the fray with an opening statement to the effect that our beautiful facility is sadly going to waste. He did not mean to say that nothing was happening, but that it could be utilized to a greater extent. He indicated that better usage would end the string of dialogue between expo management and county administrators concerning a shortfall in revenue.
Along that line, the Board engaged in conversation about changing the opening and closing days of the fair and after discussion, decided to stay with the Tuesday opening and Saturday closing schedule. There was discussion on having the Fair open until Sunday, but Mel Morris said that would create too much stress on market cattle and could severely harm the returns the processors pay to buy auctioned animals. So for now, the days open will remain as before.
Being the first business meeting of the year, the Board elected Chris Smith as chair to guide them through 2013. Vice President Carolyn Ryder reported that the Rodeo was doing well and the rodeo princesses were representing the Rogue Valley at Fairs and rodeos throughout the state. Melissa Damon reported that the Bull Riding Event went well in early January. That event is sponsored by a private contractor who rents the facility for a specified time and simply pays rent. The Expo shares in the concessions.
The Junior Livestock committee commissioned a study by OSU concerning the economic impact of the Expo on the surrounding area. That data is expected to be available for review within the next month and Board member Mel Morris said his committee would review it and perhaps make it available for the entire Board to peruse. The hope is that the data will show both direct and indirect impact on surrounding business from fairs and events.
The Board meets on a monthly basis, generally on a Thursday evening.
By Ralph McKechnie