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New agreement requires a fair

Fairgoers ride the Sizzler at the Head of the Lakes Fairgrounds in Superior last week. Jed Carlson /

Douglas County has a tentative agreement to continue working with the Head of the Lakes Management Group to manage the fairgrounds for the next three years.

Now it's up to the nonprofit management company to decide if it will accept the agreement. If approved, the measure goes to the full County Board.

The current agreement expires Dec. 31.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Head of the Lakes Management Group is responsible for managing the facility year-round, and negotiating with various user groups in good faith to determine fair use.

The group is responsible for utilities, repairs and managing all contracts for rentals of the facilities at the site, with proceeds of facility rentals being paid to the county.

Under the new agreement, the group is required to organize a fair, something they only had to attempt to do under the previous agreement.

The Superior Curling Club still has control of the multi-purpose building from mid-October to mid-April, at which time the club is responsible for the building and utilities.

Douglas County's Land and Development Committee eliminated a clause that would have required the management group to honor usage of the livestock, horse and poultry barns, arena and restrooms for a five-day agricultural event in July.

That clause would put Douglas County back in the business of managing the fair, said Carolyn Pierce, corp counsel.

Instead, committee members said that should be negotiated with the management group to avoid county involvement in management of the facility.

Douglas County officials made the decision several years ago to place the management of the entire fairgrounds facility, which includes the speedway, under one entity after mediating disagreements between groups managing the fairgrounds and those managing the speedway.