County board accepts Foundation’s funding, conditions for grandstandPublished 10:50am Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The Mower County Board expects grand things at the fair this summer.
The board unanimously authorized chairman Jerry Reinartz to send a letter accepting and thanking the Hormel Foundation for donating $275,000 to the county to partially fund the 1,500-seat grandstand.
The Foundation approved the funds with stipulations asking 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 for at least 2014, 2013 and 2015 about the usage of the grandstand.
Commissioner Polly Glynn said the conditions were logical and asked that the board thank the Foundation for its generosity when accepting the conditions.
Reinartz also described the conditions as reasonable, and he said organizing events is largely in the hands of the fair board.
“The fair board pretty much regulates the activities on the fairgrounds; we don’t,” he said.
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.