IMPERIAL — At the October 21 Imperial County Fair Board meeting, Michelle Taylor, interim Junior Livestock Foundation (JLF) spokesperson, reported the JLF had voted to rescind a $40,000 check that had been previously agreed upon as a partial payment for the new bathrooms that were renovated in 2014. The board members appeared shocked.
Reasons for the reversal were not given at the meeting. During the JLF meeting on June 10, the board member present said the Fair Board went ahead and spent $66,876 and asked the JLF to pay the entire cost, although the JLF and the Fair Board never made an agreement on what the bathrooms would initially cost. Despite the JLF being upset at the fair board for not including them on design, costs, or how it would be financed, they agreed to pay $40 thousand of the bill.
An agreement was later reached that the JLF would pay sixty percent and the Board would pay forty. However, this is no longer the case.
“It was approved at the meeting to rescind the $40,000 bathroom check,” reported Taylor. “That $40,000 will get invested in other parts of the livestock area.”
This new twist seems to have come as a shock to the Board whose treasurer report their reserves were down 52 percent from the 110 percent they had earlier in the year.
“It will impact us if we don’t get the funds, the $40,000,” said fair board treasurer Lee Hindman, “that will affect us another four percent.”
Shanna Abatti, the Imperial Valley 4-H Representative, further surprised the room by stating that 4-H would be abstaining from the Junior Livestock Committee.
The non-profit Junior Livestock Foundation is made up of two representatives from 4-H, Future Farmers of America, Grange, and two auction committee members.
Abatti stated that because the JLF has obtained council they are no longer able to participate since they are “neutral.”
“If we were to seek council we would have to go through the University of California,” explained Abatti “so we just need an MOU (memorandum of understanding) between 4-H and the Foundation.”
Abatti also stated that she will be giving more clarification on this issue at the October 26 Junior Livestock Foundation meeting.