Economic fund to make Fairgrounds upgrades possible

By Roxanne Thompson, Staff Writer

While improvements to the Limestone County Fairgrounds have been requested for years by those who use the facility – and delayed for years because of the cost – County Judge Daniel Burkeen has suggested a source for paying for at least some of the improvements.

Burkeen brought up his idea at the commissioners court’s May 23 meeting, but asked commissioners for the OK to proceed before he and others spend time on getting prices.

He said that Arnold and Penny Gray, who worked for years on the board of the Limestone County Fair Association, gave Burkeen a list of items before their recent retirement, on things the Fairgrounds needs or could very much use.

“I’ve gone over this several times with them, with Sam (Callis, maintenance supervisor) and (Fairgrounds Manager) Kenneth Ellis,” Burkeen told the court. “There are a number of changes; a lot of them have already been fixed, those that needed to be fixed on the buildings and so forth. Some of them we’re looking at options on. But we want to prioritize what’s available and affordable, that’s going to give us a return right now.”

Each year, he reminded the commissioners, the county gets a certain amount of money refunded to it from utility rebates, and the money can only be used for economic development.

Burkeen noted that the total is now about $26,000 and will have more added to it next month. He said he thought the money could be used for the Fairgrounds upgrades since many of the facility’s events bring in out-of-town visitors.

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