By Kiera Morgan
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners spent a couple of hours discussing the future course for the Lincoln County Fairgrounds. The commissioners heard from representatives of the fair board along with Don Man a consultant on the effort to redevelop the Lincoln County Fairgrounds. He gave a report to the commissioners including proposing a name change for the county fairgrounds. Mann explained that the fair is one tenant however there are other groups using the grounds throughout the year. The board of commissioners approved the change of the name from the fair grounds to the Lincoln County Commons. Commissioner Bill Hall who is also on the fair board said it was a good choice. Hall said they are hoping that with the new redevelopment plan the place is will become an even more used facility for all of Lincoln County.
Mann also reported to the commissioners on three important issues for them to consider including redevelopment of the grounds, how to pay for that and how to manage and operate it. The short term plan to keep the grounds useful. This is estimated to cost about a half a million dollars. The long term plan would be the development of a new exhibition hall. To pay for this the county has about $1million from the room tax measure passed in 2007, they also have about $3 million from the Newport Urban Renewal and are considering going to voters about raising the room tax revenue, which may be put on the May ballot. The commissioners are having staff do some additional research and it will be coming up again for further discussion and possible decision.