Moville Expo Center in Limbo
(MOVILLE, IA) - Failure may be the fate of the proposed 'Bomgaars Ag and Expo Center'. Woodbury County and the city of Moville have been trying to pony up money to build the center on the county fairgrounds.
So far, in more than six years the project's raised only $1.5 million of its $7 million goal. The county fair board president said he wants everyone to drop the idea and move on.
It's Moville's busiest time of the year - summertime at the Woodbury County Fair. A new addition to the fairgrounds could turn the town into a tourist attraction year-round - the Bomgaars Ag and Expo Center. But the money just isn't there. "The private sector had to come up with x number of dollars and then the county was going to apply for these other funds and the money just dried up," said Larry Clausen, Woodbury County Supervisor. That's why former fair co-manager Jack Burright wants to put this project in the past. "Why do they keep pushing it and bringing it up?... The fair board would love to get out from under it," said Burright. At the last supervisors meeting, the board took discussion of the expo center off the agenda for "legal reasons". "The fair board is not on board and I can understand their frustrations, but we've all got frustrations," said Clausen. The county fair board president, Ron Bohle, said his board has plenty of projects to work on for the fairgrounds, but with the expo center plans, some of those projects are on hold. "We would just like an answer to as to what our direction is going also," said Bohle. Meanwhile Burright said the Expo Center board's plans just aren't realistic. "I've never seen anybody with a list of what kind of events these are going to be. Sure there's some horse shows, maybe some cattle sales and so-forth, but 40 events a year? I don't know where they're going to come from," said Burright.
The expo center still has until September 2014 to come up with the money. That's when the sharing agreement among the county, the fair board, the city of Moville and the Expo Center board expires.