Grants Pass, Ore.- The future of the Josephine County Fairgrounds has been on the Josephine County Commissioners agenda for a while.
As a of recently, that discussion has made its’ way into talks with Grants Pass City Council.
One Grants Pass City Councilman says that the city council will continue to give its’ input to the Josephine County Commissioners, who will make the official decisions regarding the fairgrounds. He and the council have a few ideas they would like to see in the future.
That Grants Pass City Councilman is Barry Eames, who says that it may be time to think of a new plan for the future of the Josephine County Fairgrounds.
“The fairgrounds is not located in an area which is ideally suited for the fairgrounds,” Eames explains.
The future of the fairgrounds has been up for discussion for awhile among the county commissioners. Now, the city council is just starting to weigh in.
Eames says,”We’ve just now started talking about this. So we will be talking to the county and they’re talking to us.”
The discussion of the fairgrounds future among Grants Pass City Council includes the idea of commercializing the 78-acre property into a commercial subdivision or hotel. Eames says that if the fairgrounds were to be commercialized he estimates that there would be a nearly $51,000,000 profit, and that relocating the fairgrounds would take 5 to 10 years.
The reason being that, as Eames says, city council members feel that it’s not being used to its’ full potential.
“The property is grossly under utilized. It’s not being improved to its’ highest and best use and it;s not bringing in the property taxes that would occur if it were developed,” Eames says.
One other major change that is being discussed by the city council- their hope that the fairgrounds will move to a more rural area.
Councilman Eames says that his hope for what the plan will be moving forward, as far as Josephine County Commissioners deciding what to do with the fairgrounds, is that everyone would be working together.
“I think the most important thing now is to sit down with the commissioners and find out what is an appropriate use for the property that we both can agree on and how to go about it.”