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Fair Solidifies Plans For 2001 Budget Cuts

The fair board has been asked to trim about $30,000 from its budget for next year.

POLK COUNTY -- The fair board has been asked to trim about $30,000 from its budget for next year.

After a general fund transfer last year of $46,000 to make up for the fair's budget deficit, County Administrator Greg Hansen told the board to find ways to cut expenses and raise revenues to bring the budget to $140,000.

The fair's budget committee and fair manager Tina Andersen found more than $16,000 they could cut from the expense side and think they can find sponsors to bring in more than $12,000 in revenue.

The committee decided it needed to find a sponsor for next year's Pee Wee Rodeo which was a popular event this year but cost the fair $9,655. It plans to cut out the wildlife petting zoo and save $3,400 and trim $3,000 from the entertainment budget.

Some of the money the fair expects to save next year will come from charges this year that are not ongoing like pigs nipples, T-shirts, shade tents, a nacho machine and tables.

The annual fair will save $34,000 next year in rent the county has been charging for providing maintenance services but it will have to hire its own maintenance person. The fair board has not yet decided whether it needs a full or part time person to fill the new position.

The fair board and the county commissioners agreed last month that the fair could not afford to continue using maintenance paid for by the county and charged back to the fair as rent.

Currently, the annual fair budget's deficit is $77,164.92 but Hansen has promised to transfer an additional $50,000 from the general fund to the fair this year to make up for part of the shortfall. Andersen expects the rest of the deficit to be addressed from year-round and 2001 fair revenue and the rent reduction from the county.

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