A decision made at the Dec. 29 Union County Board of County Commission meeting on keeping the EMT room in the Main Exhibit building changed sometime between Tuesday afternoon and Saturday morning. (See article below.)
Fair Manager Janet Lingle brought the possible demolition of the EMT room to the commissioners’ attention Dec. 29 and was told that the room would stay. On Saturday, Jan. 2, when she arrived at the fairgrounds to watch the updates of the building, she was confronted by six men saying the room was coming out and it had been okayed by the commissioners.
“I am here today [Jan. 5], to let you know, I think a couple of you I have talked to on the phone, that I am stepping back from the building renovation at the fairgrounds,” Lingle said. “You guys made a decision last Tuesday [Dec. 29] to leave the EMT/storage room and apparently that got changed from Tuesday to Saturday because when I got up to the fairgrounds on Saturday morning, I was confronted by six gentlemen, me being the only female, and I was informed that the EMT room/storage area would be taken down. So that said, I’m stepping back. I have moved most of the county fair stuff out; you can’t even tell that’s a fair building right now. Everything has been removed except, maybe, three percent of the stuff that we’re going to leave in there.”
She said that she moved the county’s property into a different building, replaced a rusted padlock and locked it away.
“It’s going to be a beautiful building when it gets done, but I’m done,” Lingle said. “You guys all went behind my back; I didn’t get a single phone call.”
Lingle said when she was confronted by the men, that she got “reamed for about 10 minutes.”
“She shouldn’t have to put up with that,” commissioner Rich Headid said. “They don’t control our building like that.”
“It’s controlled,” Lingle said. “This project is no longer yours.”
“We can cancel this anytime, we don’t have to allow them there,” Headid said. “They’re not going to treat you like that or even members of this county.”
Lingle felt a complete lack of support from the commissioners.
“They sold the furnace,” Lingle said. “They asked me to put it on Facebook and I said, ‘No, absolutely not.’ That has to go through the county commissioners and he said, ‘We’ll put the money back into this project.’”
Headid explained that they can’t do that because it has to be surplused through the county. And it can’t be sold because it’s county property.
“Well, it’s too late, it’s sold,” Lingle commented. “He got $150 cash.”
“That’s illegal,” Headid commented. “They can’t do that.”
Commissioner Kevin Joffer told Lingle that he does support her. He stated he received a phone call from Milton Ustad and the circumstances had changed.
“The gentleman at the bank had made contact and said that they needed that part of the building...” Joffer began.
“And I told you guys that,” Lingle said.
“Yes... but if you recall last meeting, I suggested that one or the other party look at getting a storage unit,” Joffer continued. “So when Milt called, he told me what was going on. It was, what it was. He asked me what I thought. And they said that they can’t make that building work without that room and they would have to walk away from it.”
“That was a way to get their way,” Lingle said.
“The thing of it is, that’s not a swipe at you,” Joffer continued. “I got a call from the chairman of the board, I was asked a question, I made a decision. We have done nothing but support you on the fair.”
See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.