Council reviews Co. fair plans

The Webster City City Council Monday night heard a report from the Hamilton County Fair Board on upcoming events at the fairgrounds, including the fair itself and the start of racing season.

Tenette Carlson, current fair board vice president, said the theme for this year’s fair will be “Hammer Down: Hamilton County’s Youth Racing into the Future,” which also incorporates the 75th anniversary of racing in Hamilton County this year.

The fair is scheduled from July 23 to the 28. Opening the festivities on July 23 will be the parade. The coronation will be on July 24, with races on July 25, trailer races on July 26, the Bill Riley Talent Search and races on July 27 and a demolition derby on July 28. A carnival will also be hosted throughout the fair. Ten-dollar drawings, the Central-Iowa Showdown and a parade of champions will return this year.

Carlson said the fair will host several new events this year, including a scavenger hunt, a pie-eating contest and a bow and arrow demonstration.

Also representing the fair board at the meeting was Michelle Hayes, who spoke about the racing season in Hamilton County. She said the season was supposed to start last Saturday, but was closed due to weather. This Saturday will instead mark the opening of the racing season if weather permits. The season championships are scheduled for all classes on Aug. 3. Special races this year include the Deery Brothers and Hawkeye Dirt Tour special on June 4 and the Lucas Oil Late Models along with the United States Modified Touring Series on July 17.

The council approved a request from the Boone Bash River Dash Committee for $1,250 for entertainment and children’s programs. Tyler Abens, a volunteer on the committee, said on June 22, the canoe races and river float will continue this year.

City Manager Ed Sadler said that the city has granted the committee money in the past and that they are seeking other donations to help with those expenses. Councilmember Doug Getter said that he has recommended in past years that the committee apply for grant money from the Hotel/Motel tax.

“Really, this request has a very good fit with Hotel/Motel tax uses of funds rather than the city taxpayer funds, and I would really encourage you looking at next year’s efforts to work through the Hotel/Motel process,” Getter said.

The council also voted to approve two requests to submit a grant from the Webster City Police Department. The first approved was a grant for sTEP, Special Traffic Enforcement Program. A police memorandum said it is a state funded traffic enforcement program designed to increase safety through education and targets seat-belt, speed and OWI enforcement. The reimbursement from the state is up to $4,800 this year, and the police department is seeking $4,500 for an in-car video system.

The second grant request approved was for a bulletproof vest partnership grant through the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant would match funds for all bulletproof vests purchased through the DOJ. The Webster City Police Department purchases vests for every officer upon their date of hire. Those vests are replaced every five years due to deterioration. The cost for four vests is estimated at $2,500, and the grant would save the department $1,250.