My Price County
Nov 24, 2021 at 08:17 PM
OWNERSHIP OF FAIRGROUNDS MAY BE DECIDED ON DECEMBER 14, 2021
Note: To read our article about this topic from September 22, visit http://www.mypricecounty.com/forum/viewtopic.php?TopicID=1384 The following article expands upon that article.
Price County's Building & Grounds Committee met last week. Discussion of the possible sale of the fairgrounds took place.
Michael Best, real estate attorney, advised Price County that they do have full legal ownership of the fairgrounds, which cleared the county to entertain the idea of a sale.
Two parties replied to an ad that was placed for the possible sale of the fairgrounds. A father/daughter duo, Darin and Alexis Baratka, who have shown their interest in the property for some time responded to the ad. Lyn Ludwig inquired via a phone call. Both groups were in attendance at the meeting.
For Darin and Alexis, their prime objectives would be saving the barn and improving the arena area. Their intention would be to expand the arena and grandstands and to construct an auxiliary building. They would take over the upkeep of all the buildings. A future goal would be to build a community events center. They stated they would work with all the groups that currently use the facilities and guarantee continued use, including the Price County Fair, Price County Antiques Association, 4-H, and others.
Lyn Ludwig stated that she has been surveying Price County to create a collaborative plan. She stated she is working with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to get funding for historic preservation. She would like to see a comprehensive plan, guidelines to prevent restriction of the accessibility of the lake front by the fairgrounds, and the best use of the property for all 365 days of the year. She felt the barn should not be sold to a private party.
In our September 2021 interview with Nick Trimner, he stated if a private party did purchae the property, a right of first refusal would be in the contract so the county would have the right to buy the property back should the owner want to sell.
Aside form a sale, there are other options. One option is for the county to retain the fairgrounds but not make any repairs other than keeping it safe and open to current use for as long as possible. Another option is to retain ownership and make needed repairs. The pig barn, theater building, chapel, poultry shed, grandstands, and the barn all need work. The poultry shed cannot be used in the future without repairs being made. It is estimated that an event building would cost $750,000 to build.
As for the barn, a builder specializing in barn restoration saw photos of the barn but has not seen the barn in person as of yet. Upon seeing the photos, the builder stated it would cost about $50,000 to stabilize the two wings and the rotunda. To do a hands-on assessment, the builder asked for $1,000. However, Samuels Group, the engineering company that initially evaluated the building, questioned that low of an estimate. Samuels Group instead estimated between $1.1 to $1.4 million would be needed to repair or rebuild the structure.
This topic will be further discussed at 9 a.m. on December 7th at the meeting of the Buildings & Grounds Committee. The full Price County Board will consider the committee's recommendation on December 14, 2021 at their 9 a.m. meeting in the County Board Room.
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[Edited by My Price County on Nov 24, 2021 at 08:21 PM]