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The role of the Napa County Fair Association board in the future scheme of the Fairgrounds is unclear at this time because of the likely management agreement between the county and Calistoga, but the board agreed last week to continue operating as if nothing has changed – because it hasn’t.

Napa County Board of Supervisors were set to decide in October if the county would enter into a Joint Powers of Authority (JPA) with the City of Calistoga to manage and operate the Napa County Fairgrounds. But the wildfires disrupted those plans and it is unlikely the JPA discussion will appear on any agenda until “December at minimum,” said Supervisor Diane Dillon.

“We have zero capacity for it,” Dillon said. Other projects have been suspended as well because all supervisors have constituents who have been affected by the devastating fires that swept through Napa and surrounding counties last month.

The Fair Board discussed creating a 2018 budget as if the JPA was not going to happen because they are still managing and operating the Fairgrounds until the JPA is in place. Even sometime after the decision is made, the new management structure will take time to begin functioning, said Carlene Moore, CEO, at the Nov. 2 board meeting.

Moore also suggested to the board that they start discussing what they want their new role to be in the future once the JPA is in place. There will be legal fees to incur, she said, as the board needs to ascertain what assets belong to the association and what belongs to the county, which owns the Fairgrounds’ land.

Other considerations the board has before them include whether it wants to function as a fundraising body or events producer, or both, and how many board members it wants to operate with and what would constitute a quorum.

Those decisions will be discussed in future meetings and with input from the association’s members.

The condition and operation of the golf course is the most pressing matter now. Members of the Men’s Golf League pleaded with the board and Moore to not limit the days and times the course is open to the public, as Moore had informed them would take place on a temporary basis.

The golf course’s equipment is limping along, Moore said, and investing money to “band-aid” the aged equipment may not be the wisest use of funds right now. The cost to replace the equipment is more than what the Fairgrounds has, and the course was affected by the fires with debris and toppled power lines effectively closing the course.

“I’m hesitant to invest huge amounts of money when we don’t know what the JPA is going to do. I don’t know how to fix it,” said Anne Steinhauer, chairperson of the board.


The Weekly Calistogan Editor