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Grant Funds Help Pay For Jackson Co. Fairground Upgrades

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Grant Funds Help Pay For Jackson Co. Fairground Upgrades

The Jackson County Fairgrounds will receive $150,000 in renovations as the county commission moved the grant funds to its budget Monday night.

Mayor Randy Heady said improvements to the horse barn and the Ag center will be the focus of the work.

“I don’t remember the last time some work was done,” Heady said. “We have a barn over there. A horse barn where if you were having a horse show that can be used also for agricultural events that needs some upgrades. The lighting is horrible. It does work, but it is horrible, and the roof needs to be replaced.”

Heady said for the Ag center, ADA compliant bathrooms and a new HVAC system are also on the way. Heady said the upgrades are a step forward for bringing back a full fair to the county in the future.

“The goal is to get those facilities upgraded, so when we do do events like this, it will be only upper level,” Heady said. “Yes, we would love to bring back a total fair. I have been in contact with some people about doing that. Maybe, this coming year. I don’t know if that will happen or not, but that is my goal.”

During the Commission meeting, the idea to use the money for a youth league football field was brought up by Commissioner Chris Carter. Carter said he has received multiple calls from residents to better the field situation.

Heady said he is not opposed to adding a temporary fix for youth football, but larger plans are in store for a future field.

“If we could do something for youth football to get them by for a year or two, we do have other things in mind for a youth football field in the near future hopefully,” Heady said.

The 50 percent county match Tennessee Department of Agriculture grant was awarded to the county about a year ago, but Heady said COVID delayed the timeline of discussing the project. Heady said tax dollars will not be used for the project as the county’s match is paid by COVID money distributed earlier this year.

Heady said work should begin sometime next year with a spring completion date. The fairgrounds were built in the 1970’s.


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