City Council will hear presentation on Fairgrounds

Council opposed project in December

By Darrell Wacker -

VANDALIA — The Vandalia City Council has called a special meeting for Thursday night to hear a presentation from the Montgomery County Agricultural Society on the potential relocation of the Fairgrounds to the city.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the council chambers.

Mayor Arlene Setzer announced the meeting during Monday’s council study session.

The question remains whether the council members are open to changing their minds about the Fairgrounds.

In December, council unanimously rejected an overture from the Society regarding a site along Webster Street saying it would be a drain on city resources.

“The Fairgrounds just doesn’t fit the community,” said Councilman Bob Ahlers at the December 19 meeting. “They (residents) saw no advantages to the city and in my opinion it would be disruptive to the community. If the costs were being offset or we were gaining something that would be one thing but I’m not hearing that. I’m negative on the issue.”

His comments echoed those of other council members.

“I agree with Bob (Ahlers),” said Councilwoman Candace Farst. “I don’t see this as a positive for Vandalia at all.”

Councilman Dave Gerhard said that he saw the project as “additional cost instead of added revenue.”

Councilman Dave Lewis seemed to be the most warm to the proposal but ultimately decided against it.

“The ground is not good on the east side of Webster Street (due to topography) so the Fairgrounds may be a good use of the land,” he said. “But it doesn’t help our citizens and ultimately our responsibility is to them. This is a square peg in a round hole.”

The Agriculture Society has been researching several sites in the county including Brookville, Trotwood, and Huber Heights. Last week Huber Heights announced that the site in that city was no longer under consideration due to high land acquisition costs that did not fit within the project’s overall budget.

Last week county officials announced that the Fairgrounds current property would be sold to the University of Dayton and Premier Health for $15 million.

Council opposed project in December

By Darrell Wacker

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.