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Parks, fair officials to discuss coveted 28 acres

January 17, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County parks officials and representatives from the Jefferson County Fair agreed Thursday to meet to determine how to best use 28 acres near the county fairgrounds along Leetown Pike.

Jefferson County Fair officials initially expressed an interest in having the county-owed piece of land so they could expand the fair, which has witnessed growing crowds of as many as 36,000 people.

Commissioner Al Hooper has said he wants to get input on the issue from the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation officials before making a decision.

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Hooper said parks officials may want to offer input on possible uses for the land because there is a great need for extra soccer fields in the county.

A standing-room-only crowd of fair officials, parks officials and other interested people attended the commission meeting Thursday morning to hear discussion about a possible shared use of the land.

Jefferson County Fair spokesman Don Mickey said he would consider using the land for fair activities and soccer games, although he said he is concerned about how traffic would be handled when fair events and soccer games are being held at the same time.

Fair officials hold events on their property during the year besides the fair, which is held in the summer.

Bill Hoak, spokesman for Jefferson County Parks and Recreation, said he wants to do what is best for everyone in the county.

"We would be very willing to talk with them," Hoak said.

Commissioner Greg Corliss said the commission has to be careful about what it does with the land because the county's 4-H program, which is a big part of the county fair, is a very successful and popular program.

"At the same time, we're growing fast and we need more room for parks and recreation," Corliss said.

The commissioners voted to table the matter to give parks officials and fair officials time to discuss the possibility of a shared use for the land.

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