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County moving forward to create board

— Okanogan County commissioners are planning a work session on the future Fair Advisory Board at 2:30 p.m. today.

The work session will take place in the Grainger Administration Building, 123 N. Fifth Ave.

The purpose of the joint meeting is to “start discussions about what is needed and how to proceed as to not create any negative impact on the actual fair,” Commissioner Sheilah Kennedy said.

Kennedy said Friday the commissioners hope to have draft resolutions ready within the next week or two to create the Fair Advisory Board.

“This will be a rolling process to find county-wide members to serve on the Parks and Rec Board, find members to serve on the Fair Advisory Committee and establish a job description to oversee the Agriplex (and) promote the RV park, grounds, help oversee the new bathroom construction and help us outline other needed improvements,” she wrote in an email.

County commissioners informed the parks board March 27 of their plan to repurpose that board while creating a new fair board – the sole function of which would be to oversee the annual Okanogan County Fair.

“We’re behind on our capital facilities plan. It needs to be caught up,” Commissioner Jim DeTro said to the board members.

Under state law, the parks board is responsible for a number of tasks that it has not traditionally been assigned, such as maintaining trails, Kennedy said.

Current parks board members may have to be dismissed, making them free to apply to serve on the new fair board, and new volunteers will be sought for the parks board, DeTro said.

The revamped Parks and Recreation Board will be an umbrella group to serve the whole county, DeTro said.

A proposed recreation district in the Methow Valley would not, if approved by voters April 22, fall under the county’s purview.

However, part of what spurred the county’s decision came from a group of residents who asked commissioners for an alternative to the proposed Methow Valley Recreation District. It would be a junior taxing district, whereas the county’s board would not have to collect tax unless the commissioners decided to.

At 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, commissioners will meet with the current Parks and Recreation Board at the fair office, 175 Rodeo Trail Road.

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