Official: Fair revenues up nearly $60,000

Sharna Johnson

Revenues from the Curry County Fair increased nearly $60,000 from last year and concerts during the fair brought in record attendance, according to Kevin Jolley, events center manager.

With a profit of $85,678 — from $255,976 revenue — Jolley said the fair was a success and commended his staff.

Last year the profit was about $29,000, he said.

“They busted their butts to get this done,” he told county commissioners during Wednesday’s meeting.

Fair attendance was up. Jolley said a little more than 23,000 tickets sold; an increase from around 20,000 last year.

He also said attendance at concerts broke records.

The first record was broken at a Thursday night performance of Grupo Vida and Little Jo with more than 2,000 fans attending. Then, Saturday night concerts broke that record, he said, with more than 3,000 attending for the music of Tommy Irvin, the Logan Taylor Band and the Josh Abbott Band.

The Junior Livestock Auction also showed an increase of about $30,000 from last year, he said.

“We knew a lot of eyes were on us to make this fair a success,” Jolley said.

This was the first year the county did not oversee management of the fair. Global Spectrum, Jolley’s employer, signed a contract to manage the events center and fairgrounds in September 2009.

All revenue made by the fair and events center goes back to the county, Jolley said by phone after the meeting.

As of July, five months from the end of Global Spectrum’s first full year managing the facilities, Jolley said they have come in $6,000 under budget.

“I know that’s not much but that’s better than being that (much further) behind,” he said.

Since its construction, county leaders have said the events center would lose money in its first few years.

The facility was projected operate in a $340,000 deficit this year, Jolley said, explaining he believes he may be able to close out the year under $300,000.

“Most of these facilities do operate at a loss … every government facility operates at a lost. That’s just the cost of doing business,” he said.

“They build them for a betterment of quality of life… (But) the tax revenue that’s generated by these facilities is just enormous to communities.”

Jolley said the facility has bookings and will continue to see income for remainder of the year and those numbers could improve more.

During the meeting, commissioners also:

• Hear a report on the Joint land Use Study from Rudy Bauer and approved a map of existing conditions. Bauer said the maps outline the area as it is and identifies items that may be of concern to the military or surrounding communities. The Joint Land Use Study was commissioned to evaluate the area and provide information to assist Cannon Air Force Base and surrounding communities in coexisting.

Bauer said a final report is expected in November.

• Voted 2-2, resulting in no approval of a letter proposed by Commissioner Wendell Bostwick to the environment department expressing concerns about a proposed air quality permit for operations at the Peavey Grain elevator in south Clovis.

Frank Blackburn and Dan Stoddard voted against the letter while Bobby Sandoval and Bostwick voted in support. Commissioner Caleb Chandler was absent from the meeting.

• Approved a joint resolution — between the city, Clovis schools, the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce, Clovis MainStreet, Clovis Community College and the Clovis Industrial Development Corporation —supporting a proposal for a $33 million criminal justice complex.

• Approved $1,500 to pay fees to begin a jail accreditation program requested by Tori Sandoval, assistant jail administrator.

Sandoval said it is anticipated the accreditation process will take about three years.

• Heard a report from Tori Sandoval on the jail. Sandoval said the jail’s volunteer and inmate work programs are going well. Sandoval also said numerous staff training programs have been conducted or are scheduled, including: Supervisory training, report writing, communication skills, response team training, CPR and volunteer training.

There are 8 vacant detention officer positions, she said.

• Heard a report from Curry County Manager Lance Pyle, noting the majority of departments participating in the county’s risk awareness program did not achieve goals for this year.

Workers Compensation claims dropped more than 28 percent, surpassing the goal, however he said law enforcement, liability, property damage, civil rights, land use and auto claims increased.

Pyle said he plains to meet with employees next week to discuss the performance review.

• Heard a report from Pyle the county should receive money from the Small County Assistance Fund this year. Pyle said the county’s population was estimated at more than 46,000, which qualifies it for an estimated $100,000 to $140,000.