For this week’s Saturday Sound off, we asked you: Does Hancock County need a new fairgrounds? Advocates of the $18 million proposed project say it would support not only the local 4-H program but bring other events to the county year round. Opponents have criticized the cost and questioned how it will be funded. Where do you stand?

– Since the fair is so small, why not just make some improvements, upgrades, etc.? Don’t think we need a larger area for such a small event.

– The fair size is restricted by the current size of the fairgrounds. We can’t grow the fair or the amazing 4-H program in the facilities they have now. Their ideas, however, about adding a convention center are just ridiculous. We are far too close to the state fairgrounds and convention center for those to be useful. Build a fairgrounds — not a complex.

– The quality of young people that the 4-H program produces is outstanding! We need to invest in this program and the youth of our community. When you look at the young adults that have grown up with 4-H, $18 million is a bargain.

It benefits so few that it’s not worth what they are proposing. If someone wants to build it, then privately fund it, and leave public “solutions'”out of it. If it is indeed important to the entire county, then the entire county will buy tickets.

– $18 million? Why can’t we just upgrade what we have? Our fair is embarrassing compared to other counties’ fairs. Update those facilities, pave the parking areas, bring better attractions to the midway, and then maybe spending so much money on new facilities will begin to make sense. Right now, it just seems like the fair is an afterthought, and I’m not sure the new facilities would pay for themselves anytime soon.

– This would be going up right in my backyard if this happens. People planning this thing need to ask the neighboring homeowners and take into to consideration what they are putting next to those homes.

– Yes! It is very cramped and becomes a mud hole when it gets wet. We are already having to shuttle people from outside the fairgrounds during the fair.

– I don’t know about $18 million for the fair, but how about we use some of that for the roads? Come on, people. Safe driving or a week of better-looking buildings for a fair that’s been going downhill since I was 5?

– A more central location would pull more visitors in from New Pal and Fortville. Also, it’s so cramped now, I think most people don’t want to deal with it.

– Upgrade the facilities. $18 million is a waste. The county and its citizens can’t afford that.

– What is the expected increase in revenue expected to be generated by the improved site? What impact is it expected to have on the county property owners? Does this improvement have the ability to increase the county’s population, etc.? These are the things I want to see before I just make the “ick” face for seeing a number like $18 million. I mean if it’s expected to bring in new homeowners into the area and drive up property values over the next decade, it might be worth it.

– If you had a bigger and better fairgrounds, you could have a bigger and better fair. Plus, you can pull in other events like demo derby, monster trucks, concerts, flea markets/craft shows. There are so many possibilities. Most importantly, it would improve the 4-H program, which is an amazing organization for all the young people to go through.

– A new fairground is needed, but it does not need to be a facility that attempts to attract national events. No motels will move out there. They won’t move more than two miles from the interstate. Make the fairground adequate for its main purpose, the county fair.

– Find a way to start small and grow it over time with revenue generated. Open buildings like those that exist currently do not cost millions. One reasonable-size exhibition hall that is capable of year-round use could generate revenue. I think the current wish list is too big.

– Makes more sense to do something like this for a whole area. 4-H, county fair, farmers market, a flea market, car shows, tractor pulls, gun show, antique shows, craft fairs. So many positive things to be done.

– I say for the county to fund three-quarters out of taxes and have the rest come from fees to enter activities. Keep the location where it is.

– Yes! We need a much larger fairgrounds! We don’t even have enough room for all the projects or animals now. The 4-H program is a wonderful thing for kids of all abilities to participate in.

– It will be an abyss of wasted money.

–  I’m sure some scaling back could be done to make the project a little less expensive.

– Yes! But we’ll all be dead before anything gets done.