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Building committee debates adding gate at fairgrounds

The vacant lots east of the Blue Building on Grove Street in Ellsworth might have a purpose after all and it has nothing to do with the Pierce County Jail.

Tuesday’s building committee meeting debated the addition of a new gate at the southeast corner of the fairgrounds property.

Committee Chairman Dan Reis explained the initial consideration started when the Ellsworth Fire Department asked if they could have their parade swing through the fairgrounds on the final day of the fair, like it was done in past years.

The fire department and the fair board were unable to reach an agreement, which led to a second option for the gate--horses.

The horse trailers could be parked in the lots and the gate could be used to transfer horses back and forth throughout the four days. The trailers would also alleviate parking by the east entrance, which committee members would like to change. Committee members said the gate could also be used for the various pulls and the demolition derby during the fair. They also believed another gate would be beneficial from a safety standpoint.

Reis said he had discussions with Village of Ellsworth officials about extending Chestnut Street and they told him they were open to the possibility.

The committee directed Fair Groundskeeper Kenny Hines to pursue the matter further and report back to them with the latest information.

The committee also heard from Administrative Coordinator JoAnn Miller, who gave the committee an estimate about the front lawn project. The project will be advertised this week, with bids to be awarded by the end of the month. Weather-permitting, construction will start April 15 with the goal of being done by July 1.