Improved lighting will greet this year's fairgoers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Staff report
A Lexington electrical company is upgrading wiring and lighting at the Rowan County Fairgrounds.
Once the work is finished, thousands of fairgoers will have improved lighting to check out exhibits in the main exhibit building and buildings that house vegetables and crafts.
Tri-Co Electric Co. is working on the second phase of a county-funded upgrade of the electrical systems at the county-owned fairgrounds.
“We wanted to complete upgrading the main building before the fair,” said Don Bringle, the county parks director, who is also in charge of the fairgrounds.
The $18,000 contract includes new lighting in some areas, emergency lighting, rewiring and upgrades.
“We’re bringing everything to code,” Bringle said. The project includes installing numerous ground-fault breakers.
When the county took control of the property after the 50-year lease to the Rowan County Fair Association expired, electrical inspectors found dozens of safety issues.
During the first phase of the upgrade, the county spent $35,000 on a contract with Tri-Co Electric to make improvements in the cattle barn and arena area.
Bringle said the goal is to have all of the electrical work done and approved by inspectors prior to Sept. 1, when the Fair Association takes control of the facility to stage the Rowan County Fair, which runs Sept. 15-20.
Another upgrade at the fairgrounds includes a new roof on the outside restrooms. Parks maintenance staff completed that project earlier this year.
While work on the fairgrounds has progressed, various groups or organizations have continued to rent and use the facilities.
Last week, a state cattle association staged an event at the fairgrounds.