City helps sponsor return of fair with free carnival


The Columbia City Council will help bring a fair back to the community at the end of the month that will include a free carnival for four days.
Charles Grimsley, a former council member and chairman of the Adair County Fair Board, updated the council on plans for a fair, which will begin July 31.
Since 2016 there has only been a few events such as pageants and floral hall after the property where the fair was held was sold. The Bank of Columbia later donated land to the fair organization and a small group of volunteers has worked since to bring back a large, week-long event.
Grimsley said they want to celebrate the return of the fair by offering free carnival rides, but that is an expensive proposition. They are asking for donations to cover the cost. They offered several levels of sponsorship, with the top level being a platinum sponsorship of $5,000.
Grimsley said the current property, located at 256 Industrial Park Rd., will hold around 250 cars, and other areas in the industrial park may be used for parking. They will charge $5 a vehicle for parking, he added, and attendees will pay for food and games.
Council members voiced their excitement over the return of the fair and voted to support the effort with the largest sponsorship of $5,000.
Also during Monday’s meeting, the council heard first reading to change the name of Westlake Drive to Wellness Way.
Darren Henson gave a report about plans to construct bathrooms at Citizens Park.
Henson presented a drawing that shows a proposed bathroom building near a shelter that has been constructed on the park, which is located 516 Burkesville St. in Columbia. Henson said the location would optimize safety because it would not require people to cross in any traffic if they are there using the park amenities.
Council members asked several questions about the construction of the building and the desire to protect from vandalism and a structure that complements the historic and natural essence of the park.
Council members gave approval to move forward with the project, which would include drawing up architectural plans for the building and running utilities to the location.
During mayor’s comments, Mayor Pam Hoots listed the numerous grants the city has applied for. She asked for and received approval to apply for an economic development grant that only requires a 3 percent match that could be used to match other grants. Hoots stressed that the $9.85 million in grants she listed have been applied for but they have not received word on them being awarded.
Robert Flowers told the council he attended a recent Economic Development Authority board meeting and said he would like to attend the meetings on behalf of the city. Mayor Hoots said he was welcomed to attend.
The council heard from Darrell Treece during public comments. Treece said he asked the council two years ago to resolve an issue after garbage cans were being left blocking his drive and mailbox after they were emptied.
Treece said the issue was addressed and there had been no further problems. People often don’t take time to acknowledge when a problem is resolved and he wanted to thank the city and show his appreciation to the council and the city workers who do the job.
Council members Rhonda Loy, Hannah Peck, Mark Harris, Robert Flowers and Dr. Ronald Rogers were present for the meeting. Sharon Payne was absent.
By Sharon Burton

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