The board took its first look Monday at a proposed policy to allow alcoholic beverages to be served at "wedding receptions, banquets and non youth-oriented programs."
With the emphasis that alcoholic beverages will not be allowed any time the fairgrounds is hosting a youth event, the board talked over the pros and cons of the policy, and relayed advice given by a member of the Indiana Excise Police.
Board President Ken Heeke said the reason for considering the policy is to increase revenue by renting to some groups and events that have previously passed over the fairgrounds due to the "no alcohol" policy.
Rental of the community building has brought in $15,028 through the end of October this year. Rental of both sides of the Community Building and its kitchen costs around $525.
But before deciding to approve the alcohol policy, the board intends to take a serious look at the issue.
The policy as submitted requires beverage service only if food is served by a licensed caterer. That is intended, Heeke said, to eliminate parties where kegs of beer are the primary concession.
Requiring a licensed bartender to serve alcohol, as well as a portable bar so that the building's tables won't be damaged by spilled alcohol, are some of the considerations for the board. Also, a list of approved caterers who have appropriate alcohol licenses could be given to building renters.
The Fair Board agreed that its executive committee will continue to work on the policy and present it at an upcoming meeting.
Facing lean financial times, the Fair Board has been looking at ways to increase its revenue so that needed maintenance and improvements can continue for the property. Rental of vacant barns for boat and recreational vehicle storage during the winter months is one source of revenue. Expanding the electrical service at the camping site also brought in more rental funds during the fair.
The board heard in the treasurer's report from Al Harwood that the 2006 county fair made $18,854.16 after all expenses were paid and income collected. That is better than the 2005 final tally, which showed a profit of $10,497.91. The 2006 income did not include the amount collected from the walk-in gate fees, which was divided among the 4-H groups that collected the fees.
In the extension office report, Lauralee Baugh told the board:
* The 2007 4-H program enrollment forms have been ordered and should arrive by mid-December. Completed forms are due by April 2. The form now includes a release of liability statement for archery, ATV safety, horse and pony, and shooting sports.
* As 4-H program membership increases, additional adult volunteers are needed to serve as local or project club leaders and assistant leaders. Anyone interested can contact the extension office at 653-8411.
* Weigh-in, ear tagging and retinal scanning for beef and dairy steers will be Saturday, Feb. 3. That does not include dairy feeder steers, which will have a separate date later in the spring.
* Sheep ear tagging and retinal scanning will be Saturday, May 5.
* Judging of the fair Exhibit Hall projects will be on Tuesday, July 17 and Friday, July 20. The list of which projects are judged on which day will be announced.
* Junior Leaders and other 4-H clubs are looking for community service projects to complete in 2007. Anyone with a project to consider can contact the extension office.
* The winter edition of the Herald newsletter will be mailed around Jan. 12.
In other business, the board:
* The next Master Gardeners class will begin in February.
* The flavor for the Baker's Best Contest at the fair will be berry.
* Noted that a policy will be drawn up for the messages to go on the electronic sign donated by the Greencastle Rotary Club.
* Agreed the executive committee can come up with a corporate resolution for the multiple bank accounts for various clubs and barns authorized by the fair board.
The next meeting of the fair board is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22. The executive committee will meet at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 and Jan. 8 in the community building.