Sunday, May 27 , 2018, 10:58 am | Fair 62º

 
 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: Protecting California Fairgrounds

It's wonderful to see the state economy strengthening and that our state government is committed to building a reserve rainy day fund. Another wise investment should be to fund infrastructure improvements at our local fairgrounds.

Statewide, fairs play an essential role during emergencies and in sustaining our local economies. The Earl Warren Showgrounds has been employed during the Zaca, GAP, Tea and Jesusita fires as a command center and staging area.

The showgrounds is used free of charge for training and organizational meetings by local law enforcement, fire and emergency response personnel. The facilities have also been used to support local schools and educational programs.

During the recent downturns in the economy and the state budget crisis, the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Fairs and Expositions Fund was the only state fund that was cut 100 percent, leaving fair facilities to fend for themselves. The financial abandonment of these state-owned fairgrounds has led to a deterioration of the infrastructure of these valuable state-owned facilities.

Now is the time to restore funding to protect these community assets. I applaud Assemblyman Das Williams for actively supporting the effort to invest in our California fairgrounds.

Scott Grieve, CEO
19th District Agricultural Association
Earl Warren Showgrounds
Santa Barbara

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