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Fair looks for ways to continue, without state funds

Mona Hill
Staff Writer
3/3/2011

With no state funds expected for the Plumas-Sierra County Fair, directors and fair manager John Steffanic discussed possible solutions at a meeting Wednesday, Feb. 23.

As the meeting began, Supervisor J.P. Kennedy introduced his District 5 appointment, Tom Joyce of Graeagle. Joyce is a 30-plus year county resident with many family members also in Plumas County. 

Steffanic and 20 other fair managers testified before legislators in Sacramento last week. He said while the lawmakers were individually supportive of county fairs, they were not receptive to funding them when other state programs took priority.

Board president Howard Hughes, County Administrative Officer (CAO) Jack Ingstad, Steffanic and the county's budget committee had planned to meet to discuss the fair's future, but the meeting was cancelled due to weather. Steffanic said the meeting would be rescheduled.

The group will try to determine minimum funding for the fair, as well as possible reorganization to make fair operations more cost effective.

Steffanic said closing operations at the fairgrounds would not eliminate all spending. He estimated insurance, power and water totaled about $100,000.

The annual county fair generates slightly more than $140,000 in revenue and the High Sierra Music Festival takes in about $75,000. The ultimate goal is to build the fairgrounds as a revenue-producing center and that requires an operable and attractive facility.

Steffanic has several revenue building and expense reduction suggestions to put forward to the CAO and budget committee, including a possible change in his position to part time and consolidation with the county's facilities department - all of which are still at the idea stage.

Steffanic said everyone is committed to finding a way forward.
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