Archived Story

Commissioners to discuss grand stand funding

Published 8:53am Monday, May 6, 2013

The county board will discuss The Hormel Foundation’s decision to help fund part of the new grandstand at the fairgrounds at the board’s 1 p.m. Tuesday meeting.

Last month, the Foundation agreed to give $275,000 to partially fund the 1,500-seat grandstand.

The Foundation approved the funds with stipulations, and the county board is slated to discuss those stipulations Tuesday.

The Foundation wants the county and fair boards to formulate a plan to increase the usage of the grandstands, especially outside fair week. The county and fair boards must also report back annually to the foundation over the next five years about the usage of the grandstand.

County and fair board members are looking to use the funds from the Foundation to make the grandstand more appealing to hosting events. County board Chairman Jerry Reinartz previously said the extra funding will allow for the grandstand to be a multi-purpose facility with events scheduled throughout the year.

The Austin Fire Department demolished the old grandstand in a controlled burn Feb. 2. A structural engineer had deemed it unsafe shortly before the 2012 fair after dry rot was discovered in the wood base.

The grandstand — which will be made of steel and aluminum — should be completed by Aug. 1, if not before, according to officials.

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