Napa County Fairgrounds

Negotiations between Napa County and the City of Calistoga about the future of the Napa County Fairgrounds and a joint agreement remain ongoing, officials announced Wednesday.

The Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) to operate the Fairgrounds was anticipated to be on the Napa County Board of Supervisors agenda for its Jan. 30 meeting, but officials from Calistoga and the County said it has been postponed.

“Various issues, including the recent fires, have impacted the discussion as the county expects to receive less general revenue because of a decline in property, sales, and transient occupancy taxes while experiencing increased expenses for the fire recovery efforts,” they wrote in a statement.

As discussions continue to progress, all options are being explored and additional time is needed, they said.

“The City of Calistoga and the County continue to work closely together to find a resolution that is in the best interest of Calistoga residents,” said District 3 Supervisor Diane Dillon.

Napa County contracts with the Napa County Fair Association (NCFA), a nonprofit corporation, to manage the land, buildings and events at the fairgrounds, which are located in Calistoga. The current contract will expire this year on Dec. 31. NCFA approached the city and county about 18 months ago with the JPA concept and from that a committee called “Two-by-Two” – two officials from Calistoga and two officials from the County – has been meeting and directing respective staff members to work through the legalities and logistics of forming the JPA.

“The City remains engaged with the County in developing a plan for future operation of the Fairgrounds," said Calistoga Mayor Chris Canning in a statement. "The opportunity to have an active role in the management of this property within the heart of our community is critical to the future of Calistoga."

The joint statement did not indicate a future date for the JPA to be put on the supervisors’ agenda. Once the Board of Supervisors approves the agreement the Calistoga City Council will consider approving it at a council meeting. Until then the NCFA continues to operate all the business entities on the property.

The postponement of the decision has been a sticking point for NCFA board members, with some growing frustrated at what they see as a lack of progress from Calistoga and the County, and believe it is inhibiting them from making future plans for their association.

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor