Fair board, aldermen discuss joint building project

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 10/16/19

The Gasconade County Fair Board and Owensville Board of Aldermen are in the midst of discussing the merits of joining forces to build a youth building/community center.

Fair Board President Nick …

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Fair board, aldermen discuss joint building project

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The Gasconade County Fair Board and Owensville Board of Aldermen are in the midst of discussing the merits of joining forces to build a youth building/community center.

Fair Board President Nick Baxter said Tuesday afternoon that the city reached out to them about joining the two projects.

“The city is looking for a community center building and the fair board for a youth building. It doesn’t make sense to have one sitting empty. Join forces so we use it everyday and get value for your money,” Baxter said.

The fair board had a hand drawn design of what they were hoping to get out of a youth building, and added in what the city was hoping to have from a community center.

“We gave it to an engineer and architect who said they would rush it,” Baxter said, adding that it has been weeks now. “We haven’t got nothing back from the engineer or architect yet.”

The fair board also has not voted to move forward with the joint project, or any project, as of Tuesday. They have a meeting scheduled Thursday to formally present the idea, and ask for a vote.

“If we don’t move Thursday to continue with the project, then we won’t do it,” Baxter said.

The combination of a youth building and community center would include an open floor plan, and design for multiple functions.

“The plan is to build where the previous youth building was,” Baxter said. “Looking at a much larger facility and for much larger functions. Offices on one side and kitchen for a wedding or be able to get a big group in there if you wanted.”

Baxter added that the fair board wants the building to be heatable and coolable, unlike the structure they had before.

“We are in the preliminary stages of planning right now,” Baxter said.

He confirmed that the fair board threw out $150,000 as the number they may be able to contribute to help furnish the building if they partner with the city. Baxter said that number has fluctuate up and down, but is not set in stone and reiterated the project has not been approved.

“The fair board itself will have to decide what kind of money,” Baxter said. “What we have to do first is make sure we are going to move forward. If we don’t then this is a waste of time.”

Until after they decide what they are doing on Thursday, Baxter said, “We may talk all we want to but it don’t mean nothing. But we are working with the city and I think its a real good thing myself if it all comes to fruition.”

The fair board meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the fair office at Memorial Park. The meeting is open to the public and community members are encouraged to attend.

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