HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Gov. Sam Brownback has encouraged the Kansas State Fair Board to self-finance any improvements that it would like to make.
Brownback met with the board on Thursday in Hutchinson, according to The Hutchinson News (http://bit.ly/2cF72VG ).
The Kansas State Fair is fee-funded agency, but is experiencing rising expenses and a need to improve buildings, including the Expo Center and the Bison Arena. It also may consider removing the racetrack, which officials say is underused, and reconfiguring a smaller grandstand. Both ideas will require extra funding.
Board president Tom Tunnell has expressed interest in using sales-tax revenue bonds as a funding mechanism. But Brownback says he doesn’t think state fair improvements match the intention of the bonds. According to the governor, who served on the state fair board before becoming the state’s leader, it’s difficult for an entity like the state fair to compete with schools for state aid.
Brownback has previously urged other agencies, like the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, to self-finance, too. The wildlife department has used higher fees and state park cabin rentals for revenue; cabins generate $1.3 million annually. The department’s has about $1.8 million annual costs in utilities.
Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com