Ways of acquiring money for new show barn to be explored

October 19, 1994|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Sun Staff Writer

The Carroll County Agriculture Center needs a new show barn by spring 1997, and the center's directors told the county planning commission yesterday that they are ready to consider a variety of ways of acquiring the money to build one.

Grants, a loan from the county, revenue bonds and a joint venture between the county and the center were all discussed as ways of completing the $1.25 million project by 1997, the Carroll County Fair's 100th anniversary.

Board members -- who will also conduct fund-raisers for the project -- are approaching the county now so that the project can be included on the capital budget for fiscal 1996, which will begin July 1.

"If we can be creative, we can find a way to be a benefit to both [the county and the Agriculture Center]," said Jason Myers, a New Windsor dairy farmer and board member. "We are just looking for the best way to go and are open to discussion."

Board members and the county already have one joint project, the Landon C. Burns building, which houses the Carroll County Extension Agency. The county owns and operates the building, paying the board $1 a year to rent the land.

The proposed 250-by-120-foot show barn -- to be built between the building used for judging craft projects and the lower judging pavilion -- would be used most of the year for the 4-H therapeutic riding program and, during the annual 4-H Fair in August, to house dairy and beef cattle.

When the barn was not being used for therapeutic riding, the board would rent the facility for events such as craft shows, animal competitions and antique car exhibits.

Board members said the new building would require tearing down three old structures. They said they would rebuild the one that houses rabbits and poultry. During the fair, goats will be housed where the beef cattle are now, they said.

"The way the projects have grown, we will just about get the beef and dairy exhibits in," 4-H/FFA Fair Chairwoman Donna Myers said in response to a suggestion that the rabbits and poultry be temporarily housed in the new building.

"There are some buildings out there now that the roofs are sagging," she said. "We may lose the roof of the dairy barn this year."

Frank Feeser, a board member who raises swine in Taneytown, said of the proposed new barn, "We see a lot of opportunity for future economic impact to the county. There is no way we can justify this kind of expense for one week of the fair."

For example, the Howard County fair board estimates that the annual Maryland State Sheep Breeders festival brings $750,000 worth of tourism to the county each May, board member Andy Cashman told the commission. The festival was held in Carroll County until it outgrew the Agriculture Center grounds, he noted.

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