Thursday, April 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

County approves fairgrounds budget

By
From page A1 | December 11, 2013 | 1 Comment

FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s fairgrounds will operate at a loss in 2014, in large part because of roof repairs and other maintenance projects needed for the fair facilities.

The Solano County Fair Association oversees the county’s Vallejo fairgrounds and the annual, five-day summer fair. Its 2014 budget anticipates more than $3.05 million in revenues, a 7.2 percent increase from 2013. It calls for $3.37 million in expenses, an 11.8 percent increase from 2013.

Savings are to fill that $323,000 hole in the budget. The fair association is to end 2014 with $302,927 still remaining in savings.

The Solano County Board of Supervisors approved the budget Tuesday by a 4-0 vote. Supervisor Linda Seifert was absent.

Most of the deficit is due to $236,000 in planned expenses to maintain the 60-year-old fairgrounds at Interstate 80 and Highway 37. These include a roof overlay at the satellite wagering buildings, parking lot improvements and linoleum repair at the civic building, as well as buying a lawnmower and other equipment.

Without the capital expenses, the fair budget shows an $87,869 loss for 2014.

Fair Association General Manager Mike Paluszak said the budget anticipates that admission prices for the fair will remain the same as in 2013.

Still, the budget shows a 5 percent increase in fair admission and attendance-driven revenue. That would mean more people attending the fair.

Paluszak in a report writes that word of mouth about fair improvements and an increase in the concert entertainment budget are among the reasons attendance should grow.

Proposed revenues for leasing parking to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is listed at $395,000, the same as last year. However, the existing lease expires in January 2014 and negotiations are ongoing, the report said.

The budget also anticipates a $22,804 increase in revenues from the Joe Mortara golf course, which is in the middle of the now-unused horse racing track. It predicts the golf course will recapture rounds lost last year when the course irrigation and drainage systems received maintenance work.

It anticipates a $74,000 increase from renting fair facilities because of stepped-up marketing efforts.

Meanwhile, the county continues making plans for the fairgrounds. Its Solano 360 project calls for renovating many of the existing fairgrounds buildings and building a bigger exposition hall that could be used to attract conventions and other events. Subsequent phases call for private enterprise to build shops, restaurants and other attractions.

The 2014 budget seeks to keep the fairgrounds running as the county works on its Fair of the Future plans.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or beberling@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
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