GRANTS PASS, Ore. — In a county faced with financial strains, commissioners are now dishing out over $300,000 to help the fairgrounds.
The Josephine County Fairgrounds has been a place for several large events for the county like the Grants Pass Downs and musical festivities, but throughout the years, the place has incurred more debt than gains.
The Josephine County Fairgrounds debt is at $315,000. County Commissioners gave officials $340,000 to pay it off, but they say this grant is the last time they will lend money.
County Commissioner Keith Heck says last year, Mary Groves was hired as a temporary manager. Her role was to revive the fairgrounds. Heck says she has improved the center, even making profit from the fair. Groves and commissioners say this grant is a chance for the fairgrounds to get a fresh start.
“This is one of the services the whole community needs, not just the city or the county, the whole county. Everybody together,” said Groves
“They are the ones now, the fairgrounds are now going to have to prove their operation by providing the funds. Because no more money is there for the general fund. Keith Heck\Josephine County Commissioner,” said Heck.
Groves also says community members are already stepping up to help by donating checks to the fairgrounds. Josephine County Commissioners unanimously approved the grant to pay off the fairgrounds debt.
County commissioners say they budgeted the $340,000 in its general fund to offer that grant to the fairgrounds.