Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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Additional Money For Dirt Work At Tennessee Ave Fairgrounds Approved

The Putnam County Commission voted Monday to allow Mayor Randy Porter to move forward with dirt work at the Tennessee Avenue fairgrounds site.

Commissioners gave Porter a $6.5 million limit to proceed with the lowest bidder, an additional $4 million from the original allocation.

Porter said bids for the project came in several million dollars more than anticipated.

“We were guesstimating somewhere in the four to five million range, and they have came in at about nine,” Porter said. “We have went through though. We met with the contractor that was the low bid. We have worked out what we think is a way to go ahead and do most of everything we need to do.”

To save costs, the work will be conducted in two phases. Porter said the ag arena barn and parking at the top right of the property would be left out for now.

“That cuts out over a million dollars,” Porter said. “We’re looking at doing still all the rest of it. We may only start to do the main road just one coat of asphalt and do the parking lots in gravel. ”

Porter said the county will also save about $1 million by using the highway department to pave the roads. Porter said he would meet with the contractor later this week to continue the project.

“We’ve got to do this to be able to have a fair in the future,” Porter said.

Porter said the year-long project would prepare the site for construction. Porter said the goal would be to host the fair at the new location in 2023.

“That would be the goal, but would they have to have some tents to have some of their displays and stuff in until we can get some buildings in the future,” Porter said.

Porter said the extra $4 million approved has already been budgeted for in the current budget.

As for the current fairgrounds, Porter said the current developer has until mid-July to come back with a retailer’s letter of intent to buy the property. Porter said selling that land will be used for the building portion of the new fairgrounds after the building pads are completed.

In other business, Porter said the county closed on the Shoney’s Hill property. V3 Realty bought the tract of land for some $2 million. The developer in January of this year exercised the option to purchase.