Local News

Deschutes Fairgrounds Seeks State Grant

REDMOND, OR -- Deschutes County's Fair and Expo will ask county commissioners Wednesday for permission to seek state COVID relief funds. 

Fairgrounds Director Geoff Hinds tells KBND News he's asking for the maximum grant amount, just over $280,000 of the $3-million earmarked by the legislature to recoup lost revenue and money spent on responding to the pandemic, “A large chunk of it will go towards our capital reserves which are what we use to maintain our facility here at Fair and Expo and continues to invest back into this property.”  Hinds adds smaller county fairs, like Crook and Jefferson, could make major infrastructure improvements, “For some organizations that are larger, which would include ours, it certainly helps to offset some of the significant multimillion dollar expenses that we incurred during COVID.”

Last year’s legislature allocated Lottery bonds for the state economic development agency, Business Oregon, to give to the state fair and all 36 counties.

“The funding was in recognition of the support of the network of fairs across the state in the state's support of COVID-19 response back in 2020 the financial impact that fairs across the state ended up taking on,” Hinds says, adding he’s grateful for the reimbursement opportunity, “A huge piece of this is also making sure we recognize the support of the legislature in authorizing these funds, and recognizing the work of fairs across the entire state, who really stepped up as they always do in the times of needs for their community.”

County Commissioners will be asked to green-light the grant application at Wednesday’s meeting. Grant awards are expected to be announced in the spring.


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