City, fair board review options for carnival site

Where to locate the carnival during this summer?s Marion County Fair remained an open question following a discussion of options between the Hillsboro City Council and members of the fair board during the May 1 city council meeting.

Tom Kimbrel, speaking for a delegation of four board representatives, asked the council to allow the carnival they have contracted to set up in the outfield of Memorial Field.

Last year, the council decided Memorial Field would no longer be available for the county fair because of $50,000 worth of improvements the city and school district were planning for the baseball facility.

Mayor Delores Dalke countered Kimbrel?s request by asking whether the board would consider locating the carnival on the eastbound lanes of D Street if the city closed them to traffic.

Kimbrel said the board had presented that option to the carnival it used a year ago. The company had said it would not want to be on an asphalt surface because of the way it secures its rides and the electrical cords that power

Kimbrel said the fair board has contracted with a different carnival this year, but had not asked this company how it felt about locating on a street.

If having the carnival on D Street was not an option, Dalke asked about locating it in the parking area between Memorial Field and D Street.

Kimbrel said that option might be workable, but wondered where fair participants who use the 4-H Building would find accessible parking.

Councilor Shelby Dirks suggested using the eastbound lanes of D Street for parking, but City Engineer Bob Previtera said the street isn?t wide enough to accommodate diagonal parking.

Parallel parking would significantly reduce the number of cars that otherwise could be accommodated in that space, he added.

One location identified as a potential long-term solution is situated immediately west of the Commercial Building, but has a drainage ditch running through it.

Dirks then suggested that for 2007, the carnival be allowed in the outfield of Memorial Field one last time, with the hope of making the area west of the Com?mer?cial Building usable in time for the 2008 fair.

The council deferred a decision until it had more information about the various options discussed:

n whether the carnival contracted for 2007 would be willing to locate on D Street;

n the number of cars that could be accommodated with parallel parking on D Street;

n the availability of Memorial Field, given the earlier date for this year?s fair (July 25-28) and a potential conflict with summer baseball use, and because the school district is planning to install an irrigation system in the outfield after summer baseball is completed.

Dalke invited the fair-board representatives to return for the council?s May 15 meeting.

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