Perhpas the biggest obstacle to creating a "repaired" fairgrounds site is the cost. Currently Lane County's public resources are under heavy duress. Any mention of county expenditures or raising money through additional taxes or levies is met with strong reluctance. The only way that the Lane County Commons can become a reality is through the creation of community partnerships and a well-managed multi-year implemenation schedule.
The Lane County Fairgrounds needs no les than ten million dollars worth of repair and maintenance to remain operational over the next five years. At that point it will need another band-aid. This describes the current plan for the fairgroundsí future. The Fairgrounds Repair Project proposes using that ten million dollars plus (very roughly) another twenty to remodel and repair the entire site. Instead of wasting ten million dollars on a marginal site with a negative income, we could create a valuable community asset that acts as an economic generator, a permanent emergency food plan, and a national destination site.
Private donors could donate some significant portion of the estimated $30 million. A partnership between the City of Eugene and Lane County could raise the rest, either through a revenue bond and/or a grant. (Recent Federal stimulus grants are a perfect fit.) As ball-park estimate, thirty million dollars would cover the following items–some of which will have to be done anyway:
Many of these estimates could be reduced through partnerships or community assistance programs. As mentioned earlier in this proposal, PV panels could be accumulated over time as sponsored donations from businesses and individuals.