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Fair board, ICCC partner for grounds upgrade

By Staff | Feb 14, 2017

Iowa Central Community College and the Webster County Fair Board have signed another, new 10-year lease, which the college says will strengthen the partnership between the two entities.

Jody Anderson, president of the Webster County Fair Board, presented an update on the fairgrounds activities to the Webster County Board of Supervisors recently.

“The big thing we have to announce is, we have joined with Iowa Central this year,” Anderson said. “They are upgrading our horse arena.”

The college leases part of the property – horse barn, arena and beef barn, Anderson said. Under the new lease, the payment has been cut about in half, and the college will provide for construction of an outdoor arena, catch pens and improvements to the stall barn.

“They’re putting in day stalls for the horses, a new roof on our horse barn, and they’re going to come in and pull all our stalls, and completely regrade the interior,” Anderson said.

This will allow the college to host more events, and aid in recruitment of rodeo students, Iowa Central said in a statement.

“It’s going to be a premiere rodeo event arena when it’s done,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be an economic boom for the county.”

The college rodeo typically brings 200 participants and their families to the two-day event.

“I think the additions that will be made to the fairgrounds will really help our community in attracting additional events to our region and give a great boost to the economy,” Iowa Central President Dan Kinney said.

The agreement will give the fair board more revenue down the road to improve its facilities and put on more events, Anderson added.

Over the past year the Webster County Fairgrounds:

  • Added 12 new camping sites at a cost of about $4,600;
  • Added new rock for $2,000;
  • Tiled between the horse and sheep barn, $1,000;
  • Applied $500 toward the new shelter house;
  • Did electrical work at the camping sites and track, $14,000 .

“We put some more lights up around the race track,” Anderson said.

In the coming year, the fair board hopes to install more lights at the race track and pit area for safety reasons, repair the asphalt in the crumbling main driveway, and fix sidewalks around the indoor arena.

“Our big goal is to remodel the kitchen in the west auditorium,” he said. “That particular kitchen has not been touched since that building was built. It is deteriorating really bad.”

The board also spends about $1,000 per year replacing lights in the barns with more efficient LED lighting, he said.

The rodeo will be held this year on July 6, and the Webster County Fair will be July 12-16, featuring a queen contest, freewill go-cart race, stock truck pull, Figure-8 races, and a trailer race, with two nights of fireworks.

The fair board is made up entirely of volunteers.

“We put countless hours in there,” Anderson said. “We need more volunteers, especially during the fair. Last year there was five of us, now we’re up to nine.”

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