The new falcon herald logo.
El Paso County Colorado District 49

El Paso County Fair

The El Paso County Fair has been a part of our county since 1905. The years have provided a rich legacy of tradition and community, as well as learning for all ages.Over the past several weeks, I have received inquires regarding the activities of the fair and the relationship with the Resource Development Association (RDA). I take questions and concerns very seriously and have sought answers to the issues raised.To that end, I’d like to give a brief report on what I have found and shed light on this relationship with the El Paso County Fair.The RDA was organized in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) organization, exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. The RDA is a private entity whose primary purpose is to promote, encourage and host local agricultural, equestrian, cultural and similar public events at the El Paso County Fair and Events Complex. El Paso County owns the facility for the purpose of acquainting the public with, and educating the public about, the rich western heritage and culture of the Rocky Mountain region.All net proceeds generated by the corporation are to be used to support the ongoing operations of the county fair and fairgrounds. This relationship has long been beneficial and has been a significant factor in creating a fair, which is self-sustaining, relying on itself rather than on the county for funding.Some of the issues brought to my attention have been personality conflicts, questions of accounting and concerns over the level of return to the fairgrounds on the part of the RDA. As a result, I have met with our parks director, Tim Wolken, and RDA President Dan Vetrano. We have discussed the concerns at length and concluded that some changes will be made.According to the bylaws of the RDA, there is a maximum of nine board members allowed. Over the past several years, there have been two board members, and, as a result of our discussions, it has been agreed that this number will be increased to five.There will be a revision of the RDA bylaws to include a purpose statement. An annual line item income and expense statement will be presented to the county and will be used for an audit performed by the El Paso County Financial Services Department. I asked for this in order for all the information to be as open and accessible as possible, as well as ensuring that the bylaws of the RDA have been, and will continue to be, followed. There is an item on all Fair Advisory Board meeting agendas for a RDA report, and public information regarding the efforts of the RDA will be more readily available.The RDA has provided its bookkeeping and expenditures to the parks director and me. Some of the recent expenditures by the RDA include assistance with the development of the El Paso County Speedway, including paying for the installation of the guardrail and jersey barriers; and financial assistance for trucking and equipment rental costs, purchase of a golf cart for the fairgrounds, a freezer, 14 radios (to save the fairgrounds from paying rental costs) and materials to renovate the announcer’s booth.Upcoming expenditures include committed funds for a variety of fencing improvements (about $4,500) and renovation of both grandstand kitchens (about $25,000). In addition, the RDA has committed $17,000 for 2008 fair programming and $10,000 to financially support CSU Extension/4-H through 2008. This assistance for the CSU Extension was significant. It was just part of what kept the extension from being entirely eliminated for the reminder of 2008, which was a possibility that people in large numbers did not want to see happen.I’d like to express my deepest thanks to Dan Vetrano for his willingness and help in refining the RDA and to Tim Wolken for his expertise and coordination. Members of the RDA, the Fair Advisory Board and the Fair Association have worked tirelessly for years to ensure that the El Paso County Fair will continue to open its gates to our citizens for years to come. They are all to be congratulated for their efforts.There are often going to be conflicts between entities and persons who work so passionately on such a large project. It is my goal to make sure that all information is on the table and that our citizens have the answers they seek. We are working toward a common goal of a fair we can be proud of: a self-sustaining organization with traditions that will continue for generations to come.Amy LathenEl Paso County Commissioner, District 2

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Weather Cams by StratusIQ

Search Advertisers