CANFIELD Board mulls fair building

Board members have 60 days to decide if they want to move on with the coliseum project.
CANFIELD -- The Canfield Fair Board is considering a proposal to fold up its tent -- that is, the rented tent that is now the site of the senior fair cattle shows.
The board would instead build a 37,500-square-foot arena near the fair's milking parlor. The shows have been in a rented tent on the south side of the fairgrounds.
The board opened bids for the proposed coliseum Thursday. Hively Construction of Canfield is the low bidder at $780,000.
Deadline for decision: Board members now have 60 days to decide if they want to accept the bid and move ahead with the project. During that time, board members will be meeting with area bank officials to discuss financing.
Board President Joe Dickey Jr. said that, while he supports the project, he isn't sure how his fellow board members feel about spending the money for the coliseum.
"I'm going to push for it, but my vote may not mean diddly-squat," he said. "We don't like debt."
Yet, Dickey added, construction of the coliseum would also help the board members save some money, as they would not have to rent the tent for the cattle show each year. He did not know how much the tent rental cost.
Lee Kohler, grounds chairman for the fair board, said the board has been discussing the possibility of a new coliseum for the past several years. He noted that the fair's last coliseum for the senior fair cattle was given to the junior fair about 25 years ago.
"We had estimates before, but we've never put it out for bid," Kohler said.
The most recent discussion of the project began eight months ago, Kohler said, when a quarter horse group from Ohio approached the board about holding shows at the fairgrounds. Several such shows could be held in the new coliseum each year, he said.