The Stanislaus County Fairgrounds will soon be able to repair some of its aging infrastructure thanks to funding received from the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
It was announced Friday that the CDFA has awarded the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds with $115,000, which will be used to repair the fairgrounds’ sewer lift station and some sewer lines across the grounds.
“This is a great first step on providing on-going maintenance and repairs to an old facility,” Stanislaus County Fairgrounds CEO Matt Cranford said. “With the grants and state funds for major maintenance projects becoming available, we are looking forward to completing more projects that will help keep the Fairgrounds relevant and usable by our community.”
Cranford had previously submitted a project list to the CDFA, which detailed what the fairgrounds’ needed repairs were. In August 2019, the CDFA released its preliminary list of fairs which made the short list for the first round of $18 million from Senate Bill 5 (the 2018 Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection and Outdoor Access for All Act) grant funds, which included the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.
According to Stanislaus County Fair spokesperson Adrenna Alkhas, the fairgrounds decided to be proactive and put the funding toward its older sewer lines.
“It’s very necessary. We need that type of funding on a yearly basis just to maintain and repair a lot of things at the fairgrounds,” Alkhas said.
The Stanislaus County Fairgrounds haven’t received much funding since 2011, when the 2011-2012 State Budget cut its continuous fair funding due to fiscal problems at the time. As a result, fairs were required to be self-sufficient as of Jan. 1, 2012.
While many fairs throughout California have found it difficult to operate or have even been forced to close down because of a lack of state funding, the Stanislaus County Fair has uncharacteristically thrived in the years since the recession, said Alkhas, thanks to a supportive community.
“Because we’ve had the community that is involved with the fair, we’ve been able to sustain ourselves through sponsors and the Friends of the Fair really working hard to generate that missing income we used to get from the state,” Alkhas said. “We’ve just had to work harder and be more creative, but it does help us a lot when we do get state funding like this.”