Meyer talks fair upgrades

Dawn Rye | Writer

During last week’s commissioners meeting, Turner County Fair Manager Lavonne Meyer said with the nice weather numbers were up in a lot of areas at this year’s fair. She explained the biggest accomplishments in 2019 was that the fairgrounds received additional lighting. The east commercial building bathrooms had water issues that were renovated and a new water heater was put in the expo building. 

With help from State’s Attorney Katelyn Hoffman, the trams can no longer be rented without signing a contract and showing proof of liability insurance. Meyer said they also repainted and updated the grandstand event signs facing SD Highway 44 and Old McDonald’s farm received new stucco. 

Meyer noted for 2020, fair upgrades she wants to continue adding more lighting in the fairgrounds and update the infrastructure for the Wi-Fi for grandstand events. She explained she has been working with Tyler DeNeui at Leap Communications to get a plan in place. The duo also has been discussing improving the phone system because currently, the fair board pays Leap for Wi-Fi and Vast for phone and Wi-Fi. She would prefer to pay only one bill. Meyer said with the increase in improved technology, the volunteers ran into problems with tickets at the grandstand. The volunteers were not able to call with issues because Verizon towers were overloaded. She commented that this issue made her very nervous because if there were to be an emergency in the grandstands, there would have been no way to call for help. She explained the fair office would be on a Wi-Fi computer generator phone system. 

Meyer said they are also still looking for a solution to drain the water by the food booths. 

She explained since the old hotel on Main Street was torn down, bats have moved into the fairgrounds. Meyer said some of the buildings were cleaned up and will be cleaned up again before the fair. Chairman Lyle VanHove suggested she call the bat guy the county used. He said the fairgrounds could place a few bat houses around the area. 

Meyer said she was looking for an updated pickup. She noted the current pickup is aged. Meyer commented she would like a pickup with a back seat when it comes to transporting inmates from Sioux Falls to help with fairground maintenance. 

VanHove told Meyer to go on the SD federal surplus website located in Huron. He said they usually have some good vehicles with low mileage. 

Commissioner Mick Miller asked the cost of the carnival based on attendance or the number of tickets sold?

Meyer explained it is a long formula and wristband days are big money. She noted they took in $124,000.00 on the carnival. She said wristbands for 2020 fair would go up from $15.00 to $20.00. 

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