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Debate Continues Over Future Use Of VC Fairgrounds


With two years left on the current lease with the Fair Board, Vilas County has agreed to pay for removal of all existing structures once used by Eagle River Baseball Association, to inspect the property this spring when the snow is gone, and continue contact with the Fair Board.

County board chairman Ron DeBruyne acknowledged all the property, including Riverside Park, “are currently managed by the Fair Board (Vilas County Agriculture Society) 12 months of the year” under the current lease.

Supervisor Holly Tomlanovich thought the county may want to step back and look at the interest of the county and the Fair Board. “Is the Fair Board interested in a short term lease for the area where the fair operates and not the other activities on that land?,” she asked. “My thoughts are the lease is not up for renewal and we need to be sensitive to recommendations for future use; where does the county stand on this?”

Corporation counsel Jack Albert indicated the county owns all the property and it's the county's responsibility with the former lease with the Baseball Association terminated. When asked about modifying the current lease, Albert said there is no language to redo terms.

Fair Board president Dale Ayers asked for more support from the county. “Some years ago we had $2,000 a year from the county and I would like to bring that back,” Ayers said. “We have other events out there now and we are responsible for maintenance and it takes us two days just to mow the lawn.” Ayers has requested the removal of remnants of the baseball fields that include dugouts, bathroom, fencing, and two buildings.

Committee chairman Steve Doyen reminded the supervisors that funds the county received from ATC when they asked for an easement for their large towers were to be used to move the ball park facilities to Oldenburg Sports Park.

The committee directed Recreation Administrator Dale Mayo to get an estimate for removal and agreed to continue discussions on the use of the entire property after an on- site inspection with the Fair Board after the snow is gone.

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