Benton County Proposes a New Benton Franklin Fair Association Lease
 
Posted on Wednesday November 28, 2018
 
Benton County Commissioners are proposing an increase to the 2019-2020 Benton Franklin Fair Association’s lease for use of the Benton County Fairgrounds.
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 28, 2018

Benton County Proposes a New Benton Franklin Fair Association Lease
Kennewick, WA – The Benton County Board of Commissioners are proposing an estimated ten percent (10%) increase to the 2019-2020 Benton Franklin Fair Association’s lease for use of the Benton County Fairgrounds to assist with the growing annual costs to maintain the facility and provide exemplary multi-purpose venue for other users and community events throughout the year.

About the Proposed Rate Increase
The current five-year lease agreement (2013-2018) for the Benton Franklin Fair Association’s use of the Fairgrounds has been a flat $170,000 per year. Benton County is proposing a two-year lease agreement (2019-2020) calibrated to the County’s biennial budget cycle, starting at $186,938 in year 2019 and increasing in 2020 based on the Consumer Price Index.

The Benton Franklin Fair Association is not affiliated with, under the budgetary control of, or otherwise under the purview of Benton County. As such, the County does not receive any direct revenue from the annual fair event, which is put on by the Fair Association. The Fair Association has put on one of the best fairs in the state for 70 years, which the County is proud to host as our marquee event each August. As such, the Annual Fair and the Fair Association are very healthy financially, generating over $2.5 million in gross revenues with $800,000 from admissions and $179,000 from parking in 2017 alone.

Background
Each year, the County has continued to expend more on the Fairgrounds facility than is brought in for revenue, which is shown in the graph below. Previous improvements to the Fairgrounds include: building and infrastructure improvements to Buildings 2, 3, and 4; new technology equipment; updated HVAC; a new, larger kitchen in Building 4; improved public restroom facilities; and more, totaling over $3.4 million of total capital investment in the Fairgrounds over the past five years of the Fair Association’s current lease.

As part of the improvement process, the County continues to work one-on-one with local 4-H groups and other community groups to ensure that improvements meet their current and future needs, including the Building 4 kitchen remodel and future improvements to the barn facilities and the Building 1 restrooms. 
 
112818_PR_FairgroundsExpenditures

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Contact: Shyanne Faulconer
Community Programs & Public Relations Coordinator   
Shyanne.Faulconer@co.benton.wa.us
509-222-3760
 
 
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