McARTHUR — Members of the Vinton County Fairboard stopped by the Vinton County Commissioner’s office during the commissioner’s weekly meeting Tuesday to discuss the potential purchase of additional land for the fairgrounds.

Fairboard President Austin Owings and Vice President Craig Case said the land in question would be used to build additional campsites, and estimated that it could expand the fairgrounds land by about 33%.

The duo said the additional space would also provide additional parking for the fair, and could also generate an additional 200 campsites or cabin sites. They also teased a “very big,” yet-to-be-announced event that would benefit the community and bring more money to Vinton County.

During the meeting, Mark Fout, president of the commissioners, said that the county currently sells land for about $5,000 an acre. Owings and Case hope to purchase about 20 acres of land between the fairgrounds and the county’s Job and Family Services building.

Because the property in question is currently unusable, Fout said he would not be opposed to the purchase.

Case said the fairboard would have to clear and “straighten up” to make room for campsites.

The commissioners, President Mark Fout and William Wellman, voted to go into executive session to discuss further details with Owings and Case. Commissioner Tim Eberts did not attend the meeting due to a recent exposure to COVID-19, but he briefly met with the other two commissioners outside the courthouse to vote to approve the 2022 budget.

While Wellman and Fout both expressed support for the purchase, Eberts requested additional information from Owings and Case before making his decision, Case said.

Case said that the fairboard has been wanting to expand for several years, but it only recently is in a position where it can.

“Each year — we’ve been here for the past five years — we’ve been growing and growing and growing with new barns and everything else, and that is all due to us doing these events,” Case said in an interview after the meeting.

“We’re really working hard to try to do better for our kids at the fairgrounds,” Case continued.

Owings noted that the fairboard will be heading to the state’s annual Ohio Fair Manager’s Association meeting next week to further plan out the 2022 Vinton County Jr. Fair.

He said that the board would love to hear from the community what things they’d like to see at the 2022 fair, which will be held July 25 through July 30. The fairgrounds’ phone number is 740-596-2176.

In the meantime, the board has several other events planned before the Jr. Fair, including a survival boot camp, a spring derby and an enduro, to name a few.

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