03/16/2017: "Historic Barn Not Worth Saving?"
San Juan County Parks and the Fair department have received a health and safety grant from the WSDA to “deconstruct the existing horse barn and purchase mobile stalls for horse related events at the Fairgrounds.”
This has upset some, who feel the barn simply needs to have maintenance and repair, not destroyed, or in the words of a FaceBook GoPetition (Save the SJC Fair Horse Barn) page: “We believe that further study and discussion may result in a plan to make the barn safe for continued use.”
In a response to the petition, the fair board states “It is always a difficult decision to deconstruct objects of heritage/history; however, the time has come to say our goodbyes to the Fairgrounds horse barn. The many years of temporary repairs, fluctuating horse program participation, changing demographics of the islands and minimal usage throughout the year has compiled into health and safety issues for participants, their animals, and general day park users.”
Maybe, but the petition simply asks for more time for those concerned “to find a way to address current concerns and needs to determine if the barn may be saved.”
The grant funding awarded by the WSDA-Fairs Health and Safety grant program has a matching component; this means additional funding is needed through donations, alternative funding sources and volunteer work.