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Steffanic reports fair attendance up

Mona Hill
Staff Writer
9/7/2011

Fair manager John Steffanic told directors Wednesday, Aug. 31, that the 2011 Plumas-Sierra County Fair generated $113,849 — about one-third of the year’s total revenue.

Steffanic reported an increase of 1,225 in paid attendance over 2010. The system also reflected a huge decrease in unpaid attendance.

Steffanic said this year’s numbered tickets and wristbands were far more accurate than the notoriously unreliable mechanical clicker used in prior years.

Overall, total fair revenue was down slightly over 2010, which Steffanic attributed to several factors. Early last year, fair directors decided to eliminate junior exhibitor fees.

In addition, delays in putting presale tickets on sale, fewer food vendors and the 2-for-1 carnival ride deal Wednesday all contributed to less revenue. See accompanying chart for revenue details.

District 1 Supervisor Terry Swofford wanted to quash any rumors about cancellation of the 2012 fair. He’d spoken to vendors concerned about next year’s fair. Directors reported fielding similar questions. Steffanic said he had received only positive feedback from fairgoers.

The majority of the regular board meeting centered on the tentative 2011-12 budget Steffanic submitted to Chief Administrative Officer Jack Ingstad.

Steffanic reviewed the details of the agreement reached with the Board of Supervisors’ budget committee. He added that since then, the road department agreed to employ fair office manager Kathy Tedford for 10 percent of her time instead of the agreed reduction in hours. The road department will transfer $14,200 to the fair, effectively bringing Tedford back to full employment.

The fair begins the fiscal year with a fund balance of $85,993 and is budgeted for revenues of $328,824 against net expenses of $414,817.

Steffanic also reported budgeted revenue from grounds rental, $114,649, is overstated by $24,649, per instructions from Ingstad, and that there was no request for a county contribution at this time.

Consternation greeted that announcement; board president Howard Hughes summed up the general understanding of the situation by characterizing the $24,649 as a revenue shortfall, even before supervisors approved a budget.

Steffanic said the amount was to balance the proposed budget and Ingstad told him it was appropriate to add the $24,649 to that account.

Ingstad was out of town as of press time and his reason for directing an overstatement of revenue instead of requesting a county contribution of $24,649 is unknown.

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