Woodward, Okla. —
MANY TO SHARE IN COSTS AND BENEFITS
For those with concerns about the renovation costs, Montgomery said that the project's approximate $12.4 million price tag is "a liberal estimate."
"Those close to the project do not expect it to cost that much. We list $12 million because we'd prefer to be at the upper end than to underestimate its cost," he said.
He also explained that the half-cent sales tax that will go toward repaying cost of construction is only temporary.
"After the building has been paid for, a tenth-penny sales tax will take over after that to fund maintenance and staff," Montgomery said. "If we're going to have a world class facility it will need to be maintained."
The Chamber president went on to say Woodward residents will not be the only ones footing the bill.
"The best news is the cost of a project like this will be shared by in large Woodward's multi-county trade area. The 65,000 to 70,000 people who live nearby and come to Woodward to shop our businesses, who will also benefit from the traffic brought to the area by the fairgrounds as well, will also help pay for it," he said.
Smith agreed, saying, "It may cost a decent amount of money, everything nowadays costs quite a bit of money, but the people brought into town by the new fairgrounds, even though they don't live here, will help pay for the renovations with the things they buy. The architectural firm advising us expects about one-third of the cost to be paid for by out-of-town revenue."
In addition to local businesses that will benefit from the added traffic, youth organizations such as FFA and 4-H stand to benefit as well.
"We have the premiere district livestock show, we fill that thing up in March, so these renovations and expansions will be real helpful for our show," Fanning said, noting "We'd have adequate wash racks and we'd have room to house the animals."
He went on to say just how important livestock shows are to youth groups like 4H and FFA.
"All the profits from our premium auction go back to 4H and FFA. Our premium auction raised $242,280 last year, that's huge. We raised more than Enid's district livestock show, so it's a big event," he said.
"These renovations undoubtedly benefit the young people of our community," Montgomery agreed, but added, "That's just the tip of the iceberg for how they'll help out Woodward. Renovations to the Woodward County fairgrounds will enhance our growth, and they're our next logical step."