Fairgrounds closed until Jan. 6 | TheUnion.com

Fairgrounds closed until Jan. 6

The Nevada County Fairgrounds, battered and damaged from a series of storms, will be closed until Jan. 6, the fair’s chief executive said this week.

Fierce wind and rain toppled trees and buckled roofs at the fairgrounds, causing as much as $400,000 in damages to the maintenance shed and several booths along the popular Treat Street food area.

As many as 40 trees will have to be removed and replanted because they were uprooted or severely damaged in storms earlier this month, said Ed Scofield, CEO of the Nevada County Fair.

“We honestly don’t know the extent of the damage,” Scofield said Tuesday. Scofield and foresters have walked the grounds to determine just how many of the the 100-year-old trees will have to be removed and replanted.

Trees toppled and smashed into the Nevada City Lions booth on Treat Street, destroyed a deck at the Music in the Mountains wine booth, and damaged part of a roof at the Grass Valley Senior Center. WInds buckled the walls and trees smashed through the roof of the maintenance shed.

A water line leading to the Argosy School broke as well, flooding some rooms.

The senior center is once again usable, Scofield said. Trees damaged the roof and broke a water line, flooding one restroom. But the building is up and running.

Scofield said the fair will be responsible for paying to repair and possibly replace the booths that were damaged by wind and rain nearly two weeks ago.

The fairgrounds is insured by a policy with a $50,000 deductible that will be taken from the fair’s general fund. The overall budget for the fairgrounds is about $1.5 million, Scofield said.

There are no regularly scheduled events during the next few weeks, Scofield said. Musician Taj Mahal was scheduled to perform last week at the fairgrounds, but the event was canceled. Scofield said he’s still trying to reschedule the event.

“It’s a good time to do this,” Scofield said of the assessment of damages.

Scofield said he’s developing a contingency plan with fire and weather agencies and the local media, should weather or some other event force the fairgrounds to close.

Three-quarters of a million visitors come to the fairgrounds every year, Scofield said, and about 106,000 of those visit the Nevada County Fair.

Nevada City Lions’ members hope to see their taco booth rebuilt in time for next year’s fair. The booth raises about 80 percent of the club’s revenues, said member Diana Beer.

“It’s a big blow,” Beer said of the damaged booth. “We don’t know what’s going to have to be done to make it work again.”

Tacos will be back, Beer said.

“We either do that or pack it in.”

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