To aid efforts in organizing the 2019 Amherst County Fair, the board of supervisors has appropriated $35,000 to serve as additional seed money for the event.
The board, which contributed $60,000 for last year’s fair, approved the measure during its Feb. 5 meeting. The money comes from an unobligated general fund balance supervisors use when deemed necessary.
The fair, which will be held Aug. 15-18 at a fairgrounds site on Sweet Briar Drive near U.S. 29, attracted about 15,000 gatherers in 2018. The recently formed Amherst County Agricultural Committee is steering this summer’s event and anticipates growing its own starting funds so as to need less each year from the county, according to county documents.
The fair generated a profit last year and had a balance of approximately $15,000 but needs more money to get going for 2019, according to the county.
“We don’t want to lose the momentum they have from the first fair,” said Stacey Wilkes, the county’s director of finance.
The fair will be held at the same site as last year, County Administrator Dean Rodgers said. More than 200 volunteers helped in the effort to bring the fair back for the first time in several decades and Rodgers said the county is negotiating with Sweet Briar College and neighbors near the fairgrounds if a fireworks display can be held again this year.
Also last week, supervisors appropriated $612,955 in additional state money into the Amherst County Public Schools’ current operational budget, which is set aside for capital improvement projects. The increase is due to the division having an enrollment higher than anticipated by just more than 100 students.