If all goes well, Washington County will present to local rabbit and poultry competitors as a Christmas gift a new barn for the 2014 Washington County Fair.
Washington County Commissioners approved Thursday the plans designed by David Haught, owner of DLH Design LLC, for a new structure to house the rabbits, turkeys and chickens for the next year's fair.
"I allowed 180 days ... with a start time in October," Haught said. "It's not a complicated building."
Fire destroyed the original barn on April 29, and Haught estimates it will be the end of December before the new structure is finished, barring weather or other delays.
For this year's fair, which opens Saturday, the board has put up three large tents - one for poultry, one for rabbits and one for judging. The poultry tent is sitting on the concrete slab left vacant when the original barn burned down.
"Considering what's happened, they are going to do the job for the four days," said Jeremy Barth, 31, of Reno, who is the fair board member in charge of the rabbits and poultry.
One challenge with using a tent, Barth said, was to figure out how to hang the cages in the tents. Rented scaffolding solved the problem, he said. The tents are ready to house the 250 market and breeding rabbits, 100 pens of market chickens, 20 market turkeys and 75 to 80 fancy chickens expected to be entered.
The tents also are equipped with side panels that can be hung where rain is blowing in or when the afternoon sun begins to set because the two tents of animals run north and south.
The animals are expected to arrive this afternoon when weigh-in take place from 4 to 8 p.m.
The new 9,000-square foot pre-engineered steel building will rest on a new concrete slab just north of the former slab, closer to the eastern end of the track. The building also will have a mezzanine level which will include a judge's office. The cages will be temporary and movable in the event of a flood during the fair, Haught said. The cost for construction will be $368,750, covered by the Washington County Fair Board's insurance policy.
Fair board member Richard Henthorn confirmed the board is in agreement with the plans as a committee had been formed to have input in the design process.
"For what it's worth to the commissioners, some of us are staying on the board to see this through," Henthorn said. "I and some of the other members are running for the Monday election to see this through."
In other business:
The commissioners accepted a proposal from Ken Strahler Masonry to install an area drain in front of the new Board of Elections office at the Children Services Building on Davis Avenue. The cost of the project is $12,835.
Commission President David White said water accumulates at the Board of Elections' entrance especially after the recent heavy rains. White also said because the election season is beginning and early voting starts Oct. 1, he encouraged the company to complete the project as quickly as possible.
The commissioners also sent a letter to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency asking for a continuation of the Devola sewer project until March while they collect results from voluntary inspections of the community's 300 homes. The commissioners also are planning a town hall meeting to discuss the project during the latter half of September once arrangements can be finalized and two weeks of advertising for the meeting can be completed, Commissioner Ron Feathers said. He also said no projected start date for the project has been set.
The commissioners also accepted a contract from Bob Lane Welding Co. for $27,409 to repair a landslip on Bells Run Road (Country Road 46), about 3.3 miles from Ohio 7 in Newport Township.