$6.5 Million Bond Proposed For Lincoln County Civic Center
LINCOLN COUNTY, Oklahoma - Fair officials in Lincoln County are asking taxpayers for $6.5 million for a venture that could help boost the local economy in the long run.
The money would go toward revamping the Agri-Civic Center on the Lincoln County Fairgrounds.
Inside, the building is full of mold and rust, and has several structural and code issues.
“We're liable every time we're out here on these grounds,” Vice President of the Lincoln County Fair Jerry Smith said.
Smith has watched the center fall apart over the years.
It was built on the fairgrounds in the 1970s and has been a staple of Lincoln County ever since.
“All the other communities have their gymnasiums and their football stadiums. This is the one place that all the kids in the county can come, and the families can come and enjoy this,” Smith said.
The fair board says they have a hard time attracting conferences, weddings, or other special events outside of the fair.
While the center is spacious and close to major highways, it’s in poor condition and is expensive to maintain.
Smith and the fair board have a $6.5 million bond proposal solution that would enclose and extend the barn by 75 feet.
It would change the drain system so the building doesn’t flood so often, and update plumbing, heating, cooling and interior of the office space.
On Tuesday, voters will decide if that can happen.
The 10-year bond would go from a 2.2 to a 1.6 millage over time.
“Property tax it would be, start out as a $22 dollar per $100,000,” Smith said.
It has taken nearly two years just to get this on the ballot.
Smith says while it sounds expensive, it will pay off if the center attracts more visitors.
“It’s not just a stock show and barn facility, we're looking at other aspects to bring money in for the county,” Smith said.
The tax will go into effect in September if the bond passes.