ASOTIN — The Asotin County Fair Board has wrestled with some difficult questions as they delve into planning next spring’s fair and rodeo.
On Monday, Asotin County Commissioner Chris Seubert said the board’s primary concern is whether the pandemic will force another cancellation in 2021. Without a crystal ball, it’s tough to predict what’s going to take place between now and April, Seubert said.
“What happens if we don’t have one?” he said. “This is the time of year the board typically starts lining up rodeo contractors and vendors, and kids begin reserving or buying animals to sell at the fair. At the last fair board meeting, people were wondering if we should plan for a fair next year or not.”
Seubert, who represents the commissioners at fair board meetings, said he has been asked for his forecast, but doesn’t have a solid answer.
“I just don’t know,” he said Monday. “I really don’t, and that’s what I told the fair board.”
At this point, Seubert is advising fair officials to meet with the livestock sales committee to gauge the options.
When the Asotin County Fair and Rodeo was called off earlier this year, the community rallied to support youth who raised animals to sell at the annual event. Seubert said it’s important to find out if the sales committee believes it’s possible to pull that off again, in case the pandemic creates more pandemonium in 2021.
“This year, the livestock sales committee really stepped up,” he said. “What we need to find out is can they do it again in 2021 if things go south?”
Seubert said the fair board is a “hard-working” group that begins planning months before the gates open. This year has been especially tough on organizers because of all of the unknowns.
The Asotin County Fair and Rodeo are the first county fair functions conducted in the Evergreen State each year. The traditional date for the festivities is the last weekend in April.
In other county business, the commissioners said Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 proclamations prohibit them from holding large gatherings, but they are exploring ways to hear public comments. Under the current rules, meetings are being offered online and limited to 10 or fewer people inside the commission’s chambers at the annex. The public comment period has been eliminated from the weekly agenda since the regulations went into effect.
However, officials said questions or concerns about Asotin County issues can be emailed to the board at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, each commissioner can be reached by phone or in person during office hours at the annex, located at 095 Second St., Asotin.
“You can call us, and we will get back to you,” Seubert said. “You can visit our offices out here in Asotin or send us emails. All of our contact information is listed on the county’s website. We are adhering to the governor’s rules, but we want to hear from the public, and we will respond to any questions.”
One of the issues that will be on the front burner next month is a Nov. 3 ballot measure asking rural residents who live outside the Clarkston and Asotin County fire districts to pay property taxes to cover ambulance calls.
Commissioner Brian Shinn said officials are planning public Zoom meetings to field questions about the proposal, and details about the informational sessions will be issued in coming weeks.
Sandaine may be contacted at email@example.com or (208) 848-2264. Follow her on Twitter @newsfromkerri.