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City hears report on S.D. State Fair: Huron Area Community Theatre group revamps rental agreement; plans sound system upgrade

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 10th, 2013

HURON — Finishing in the black again at the end of its fiscal year a little over a week ago, State Fair officials are working to attract more year-round events on the fairgrounds while continuing to make improvements to the park.

“We’re trying to utilitze those resources that we have out there,” State Fair Manager Jerome Hertel said in his semi-annual update to the City Commission on Monday.

Throughout the year, 82 different events are held on the grounds. The most recent, the Wally Byam Caravan Club International just concluded its Airstream rally. Nearly 400 campers enjoyed the hospitality of Huron, Hertel said.

Fair officials are working on other events, some of them large, like next year’s Red Power Roundup.

A little over a month ago, Wheel Jam did well. On a wet weekend overall attendance was down slightly, but local residents came out in spite of the rain. Revenue was up and there were more than 400 campers.

Fairgrounds camping continues to grow, with more than 1,300 sites. Some new ones have recently been added. There is a new roof on the Hippodrome, a new Coyote Park restroom and a new house for the seasonal workforce.

As the State Fair approaches, officials are hoping to exceed last year’s attendance of 192,000 and top 200,000, Hertel said.

The grandstand lineup is finalized, but the free stage entertainment is not. Ticket sales for the grandstand events are in line with last year at this time.

Hertel said a capital fundraising campaign is under way to build a $4 million 4-H exhibit hall. The existing building will soon be demolished.

“The State Fair is doing well, is healthy and moving forward,” he said.

Meanwhile, the board approved a request from the Huron Area Community Theatre organization to revamp its rental agreement for theatre space in the Fine Arts Center.

The group is planning to spend about $14,000 from its resources and from other sources to improve the sound system in the theater.

The city has agreed to reduce the theatre rental fee from $1,350 per production to $1,000 per production for the next seven productions, ending in August 2016.

The new system will be “gifted” to the city.

Commissioners also:

• Approved a $180,150 progress payment for various vendors involved with the Huron Aquatic Center project, now nearing completion.

• Hired Alaina Harrington as deputy accounting clerk in the finance department.

• Approved the regular full-time status of Dennis Bennett assistant city engineer.

• Set July 22 as the public hearing date for the special assessment roll for curb, gutter, pavement, water and sewer main, and water and sewer service improvements on McDonald Drive, between 22nd and 24th streets.

• Set July 22 as the public hearing date for a special event on-sale alcoholic beverage license for a chamber mixer Aug. 13 at Sunbird Inc.

• Approved an alcoholic beverage consumption request from Danielle Rathjen/Tschetter Hohm Clinic for Saturday at Memorial Park.

For the complete article see the 07-09-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 07-09-2013 paper.

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