Local official responds to project naysayers

To the editor:

This is in response to George Langston’s letter to the editor on Nov. 5.

There is a lot in that lengthy letter that is misinformation, but I will confine this response to one issue.

He asserts that I stated in a public meeting last December that the fairgrounds project would receive no taxpayer funding. I have consistently and repeatedly believed and stated that funding the fairgrounds should come from three sources: private donations, grants and public funding.

I did not make the statement he attributes to me.

The present proposal before the commissioners to grant a lease to the nonprofit for the county-owned land needed for the fairgrounds includes a financing plan defined by the commissioners, not defined by the nonprofit board. Despite proposal terms that indicate funding primarily with public finds, private donations and grants would be incorporated in the final plan.

The development of a plan for a new fairgrounds is a lengthy and evolving process with input coming from many sectors of our community. While it may be tempting to continually raise objections, constructive participation in the planning process will better serve the community at large, the agricultural community and the 4-H fair participants.

Jim Shelby

Hancock County councilman