Putnam County Commissioners liked what they saw in the preliminary draft for the new fairgrounds at a work session Monday night.
District 11 Commissioner Darren Wilson said the drawings showed an opportunity to enhance the community through a new venue.
“The midway is going to be larger,” Wilson said. “The event area is going to be much larger, the horse and stable area are going to be something that will be able to attract riders and other events that have been going to Nashville and Knoxville and Chattanooga area that want to come to a different venue. It’s going to be a wonderful facility.”
Wilson said the potential for development at the 31 acres across the site on Tennessee Avenue presents exciting opportunities as well. He said that in addition to the new bus garage and highway department, there has been discussion about putting an ambulance substation on that side of town.
District 7 Commissioner Grover Bennett Jr. said that the capacity for outside organizations to come and conduct their business at the convention center or the expo center will mean good things for the county.
“And what that will do for the county, will help keep our property taxes down,” Bennett said. “By bringing in hotel-motel tax, as well as property tax from other businesses popping up around that area.”
Bennett said he thinks the committee has done an excellent job researching like-facilities in other communities and applying that knowledge to what will work best in Putnam County.
District 5 Commissioner Cindy Adams said she feels excited about the ability to use money from the sale of the old fairgrounds to help with costs for the new site.
“I’m a money person and I’m always looking for ways for us to efficiently use the money of the taxpayers,” Adams said. “We’re also going to be looking for corporate sponsors to sponsor different buildings and arenas out there to bring in extra funding to help with the building.”
Adams said she is excited about the site’s new location as well. She said that its proximity to the interstate but its distance town will grant easy access to the area but not disrupt traffic.
Each of the commissioners said that the number of possibilities at the site provides an exciting future for the county.