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Lafayette Co., Wisconsin Raising Funds for New Fairgrounds
USAgNet - 07/11/2019

A group of community supporters in Lafayette County are looking for ways to raise at least $3 million to relocate the county's fairgrounds after the facility sustained major flood damage this spring from a fast snow melt and continued wet weather.

Theresa Burgess of the Lafayette County Emergency Management agency said due to the grounds being in a floodplain, fixing the damaged buildings and roadways is not a viable option.

"We can't expand or upgrade the facilities," Burgess said. "We are only able to make repairs to what's there. It really isn't cost-effective anymore."

As a result, a newly formed group called the Southwest Wisconsin Ag Innovation Center committee is looking at options. President Steve Carpenter says a local farmer is willing to sell 80 acres south of Darlington to build a new fairgrounds.

"To purchase the land, create the infrastructure and complete the buildings necessary to host the fair, we will need approximately $3 million," Carpenter said. "I know that seems like a lot, but we are really out of options to be able to continue hosting a fair for our kids."

In addition to being higher than the nearby Pecatonica River, the proposed site will also offer access to local ATV trails, space for camping and enough acreage for long-term expansion.

Committee leaders say the long-term plan is to develop a facility that could host events year-round, such as horse and livestock events or car shows.

To learn more about the new Southwest Wisconsin Ag Innovation Center or to make a donation, visit www.SWAG-Center.com

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