Beer garden to expand at county fair

The Hillsboro City Council approved the plans to have a larger beer garden at the Marion County fair this summer in their meeting on Tuesday, April 16.

Brent Unruh explained that last year was the first year for a beer garden at the fair and it went well.

“We didn’t have a single issue with the alcohol. It was the cleanest spot in the arena,” said Unruh.

Several of the council members chimed in that they had heard positive feedback about the garden as well.

Unruh asked permission to hold the beer garden again with a few modifications.They first asked if the space where beer consumers could be expanded.

“Some people like me would like to take a beer back and sit with their family rather than be confined to an area where they buy it. We’d like to open up the East side to beer sales only and we would block it off and inspect the area.”

They also asked if they could sell more than three beers.

“So, a question I would have is how to we make sure that somebody isn’t over the limit. I talked to Chief Dan (Kinning) this afternoon and he reiterated that there were no problems last year, but he was struggling with moving to more than three beers and expanding the area. My concern is we don’t want to have people who have too much and get into altercations. We don’t want to have underage people. So I’m not sure how that gets addressed,” said Lou Thurston.

“The fair doesn’t want the fair to be known as a bunch of beer drinkers. What we are trying to do is to create a profit at the fair. By opening up the East side, there will be a lot more people who will just buy a beer or two and go sit with their family,” said Unruh.

Unruh and the council discussed the need to continue to see ID as well as give a bracelet to identity those 21 and older. If someone has a beer in their hand and no bracelet, they will have the beer confiscated and be asked to leave.

“I think as long as you guys watch it and eject anyone with problems from the derby,”said Council member Byron McCarty.

“I just like the idea that nobody should be holding a container if they don’t have a wristband,” said David Loewen.

The requests for the East side of the derby to be monitored and the ability to see more than three beers were approved.

In other business, the council,

◼ approved vouchers at a total of $225,142. 19.

◼ heard Hillsboro Code Enforcement Officer Ben Steketee present his findings that the 312 West Grand Ave property is no longer a blight or dangerous. The council voted to conclude the case and abate the property.

◼ approved Resolution 2019-02 authorizing the financing of the trash truck using Hillsboro State Bank to provide a lease-purchase loan of $169,415.

◼ authorized payment of an Elcon Invoice for supplies used by the water department and the refuse department totaling $45.81.

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