Benton County commissioners create Fairgrounds Improvement Board

Benton County commissioners have created a citizen-based Fairgrounds Improvement Board, hoping it will coordinate efforts of various user groups with the county for managing activities at the fairgrounds.

Commission Chairman Jim Beaver said the special board should give user groups more voice in decisions and ease potential conflicts at the fairgrounds.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday to create the five-member volunteer board that will meet bimonthly, providing community insight and advice to county commissioners about issues relating to the fairgrounds.

Some of the key functions of the board will be assisting in ongoing maintenance and expansion of the fairgrounds facility; encouraging educational opportunities, especially for school children; analyzing problems and needs after assessing community opinions and attitudes about the fairgrounds; and recommending changes for fairgrounds policies, programs and budgets.

Applicants will be sought during August. They should be Benton County residents, with preference for people who live in unincorporated areas of the county, and may not be elected or appointed officials of any unit of government or be county employees.

The volunteer positions are two-year terms, without any compensation or reimbursement for expenses.

All meetings of the Fairgrounds Improvement Board will be open to the public and subject to Washington's Public Meetings Act.

Commissioners also want interested people who "want to participate in public service, but not compete for public office" to apply.

Applications are available at the commissioners' office at the Benton County Justice Center, Prosser Courthouse or at www.co.benton.wa.us.