Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Alex Ross 

McCann resigns from fair board, board talks parking, entrance fees


March 21, 2018

Havre Daily News/Ryan Welch

Great Northern Fair Board Chair Paul McCann, left, presides over a packed meeting Tuesday in the Timmons Room of the Hill County Courthouse as board secretary Linda Ferguson takes notes and board member Ron Kenesky looks over some papers. McCann resigned his position on the board Tuesday. The Hill County Commission will open the position for applications.

Great Northern Fair board Chair Paul McCann resigned from the board Tuesday at its regular monthly meeting, while board members elected new officers and talked about charging for parking at this year's fair during the board's monthly meeting Tuesday.

The Hill County Commission has not yet received McCann's formal resignation.

A larger crowd was present as the board voted unanimously to make Tyler Smith the new chair and Scott Doney the board's new vice-chair.

The board, McCann said, was supposed to hold the office elections in January, but was busy with other matters,

McCann, who has been on the board for three years, turned over the meeting of the board to Smith after the vote.

Smith applauded McCann for his time on the board.

"I would like to thank Paul McCann for his years of service on the board," he said, as the crowd at the meeting applauded.

Hill County Commissioner Mark Peterson said that the commissioners hope the vacancy created by McCann's departure will be filled soon, He said people interested in taking the position should contact the commissioners.

Before the vote, McCann said that the board had received the resignation of Fairgrounds Manager Dave Brewer.

Brewer who was hired last year, was part of a reduction of force last month by the county, after the county lacked the money to pay him.

Peterson said this morning that the county would have been able to bring Brewer back as manager when it got the money and resolved other issues, but Brewer's resignation takes that option away.

In lieu of a fairgrounds manager, Smith said, the board and the commissioners are working together to manage the grounds.

In other business, the fair board is looking at charging a per-vehicle parking fee at this year's fair to raise revenue.

No votes were cast by the board or decisions about how much to charge, but Smith said that in discussions between the board's Buildings and Grounds and Finance committees members said they thought a $5 a day fee for each vehicle would be good. A $20 parking pass that would be good for a week would also be available.

Doney said a separate $1 per person fee would apply to people who came to the fair but did not park on the fairgrounds.

Smith said money would likely be collected from vehicles and attendees at the Second Street entrance close to the Hill County Sheriff's Office and a second entrance near the highway.

Smith said the board is looking to see if anyone in the community would be interested in building ticket booths that would be used to collect the fees.

People interested in doing so, he said, can contact board member Ron Konesky.

No decisions have been made about who would collect the money, but Smith said volunteers from community groups could maybe do so.

Smith said that the board hopes money generated from parking fees and the sale of parking passes will bring in about $10,000, but they don't have any past numbers about how many vehicles park on the grounds during the fair.

In other business, Doney said that last weekend's gun show at the Great Northern Fairgrounds was a success, drawing more than 800 people.

He said that he talked with vendors and the organizer said he wants to come back next year.

This weekend, Smith said, the Great Northern Bull-Dazzle and a pig auction will take place at the grounds.

Scott Doney, who sits on the Board's Events Committee, said that entertainment for Saturday and Sunday at this year's fair is wide open and he is eager to hear suggestions.

He said it looks like the junior rodeo will be Wednesday night, open rodeo Thursday and the bull riding Friday.


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