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Josephine County Fairgrounds Remain Open

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The Josephine County Fairgrounds have faced a steep climb this past year, but managers said it has enough finances to make a comeback. Now county commissioners are giving it the go-ahead to remain open, for now.

The board voted unanimously Monday afternoon to continue operations at the fairgrounds through June 30th, which is the end of the fiscal year. It also means that there will be a county fair held at the grounds next August.

Earlier this year the county gave the fairgrounds more than $300 thousand to help erase its debt, and asked the fair board to come up with a plan to make the fairgrounds self-sustaining. After staff made cuts, adjusted costs, and brought in thousands of dollars in donations, the county said the fairgrounds is about $20 thousand in the black.

It’s not a new lease on life for the fairgrounds. Commissioners said Monday that the venue will have to prove it is capable of standing on its own this year. If current plans for rentals, vendor reservations, and revenue estimates fall short of expectations, the fairgrounds could face closure again in the next fiscal year.

“Keep the donations coming in, please,” said Mary Groves, interim fairgrounds director. “So we can get a little breathing room.”

The commissioners also approved a $20 thousand economic stimulus grant to come up with a new marketing plan to increase attendance.