Agricenter board seeks $10M for improvements from state

awoolen@macon.comAugust 14, 2013 

PERRY -- The Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority board Wednesday approved the fiscal 2015 capital project recommendations for four main projects at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter that total a little more than $10 million.

The list will be sent to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget for review in the next legislative session.

The projects include facility improvements to the parking lots and roads, paint for buildings, new equipment, the modernization of Reaves Arena and improvements at the north gate at the fairgrounds.

The other three improvements in the request were new signs, an entertainment pavilion and phase 3 of an equine facility expansion.

Executive Director Randy Moore said the fairgrounds hasn’t received any capital project money in five years.

“Hopefully, we will get our top two (projects),” he said.

The top two miscellaneous facility improvements are to resurface and seal-coat all parking lots and roads and to paint the interior and exterior of buildings and barns.

Those buildings were in full use during the National Barrel Horse Association Youth World Show July 21-27 that was attended by more than 52,000 people during the seven-day run.

Revenue from the event was $300,800, making it the second-largest revenue producer behind the Georgia National Fair.

If the attendance for the show keeps growing, “we’ll be putting horses where you haven’t seen horses before,” said Jim Floyd, agriculture and youth director.

Total revenue for July was $540,107.

With the fair just eight weeks away, a national anthem singer has not been secured for the opening ceremonies. The keynote speaker, which has in the past been the governor, has not been confirmed either.

“Those two items are in limbo,” Moore said.

The grand marshals for the parade were announced as the presidents of 4-H and FFA.

Tickets for the Hunter Hayes concert Oct. 5 and the Justin Moore concert Oct. 12 go on sale online 9 a.m. Aug. 31.

Ronald M. Goldsby, chief administrative officer and comptroller, said he expects the Hayes tickets to go fast.

“I think it’s going to be a quick sellout,” he said.

He also has a request for two busloads of high school students from Utah to attend the Oct. 5 concert on their way to Walt Disney World.

“We’re getting a lot of interest,” Goldsby said.

The Georgia National Fair will be held Oct. 3-13.

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