County commits $40 million to new Ag Expo
By Neal A. Shipman
The McKenzie County commissioners were adamant about their commitment to the construction of the McKenzie County Ag Expo, which would be the new home to the McKenzie County Fairgrounds. But during the commission’s meeting on Tuesday, April 20, in which they approved $40 million toward the project, several commissioners were equally adamant that there was a limit on how much money they want to spend.
“Build something nice with the $40 million,” stated Clint Wold. “A $93 million project is too much.”
According to Chris Kubal and Tim Jorgenson with the McKenzie County Fair Board, the money would be used for Phase 1, which would include a 30,000-square foot exhibit hall, a 56,000-square foot livestock arena and an outdoor arena with covered grandstands.
“It’s all about design right now,” stated Jorgenson. “We just have to see how it all fits together. But everything that we have done at the old fairgrounds we want to be able to do at the new one.”
Following Wold’s comments, Commissioner Joel Brown questioned spending more money on a facility that sees such limited use.
“The question is how do we justify this for a three-day fair,” asked Brown. “So far we haven’t seen or heard anything on how it will be used year-round.”