BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) - Tuesday, June 25, brought another chapter in the County vs. the County Fair in Baldwin County.
Time is almost up for the Baldwin Cattle and Fair Association to fix a number of sanitary and maintenance issues found in an inspection of the Baldwin County Coliseum.
Commissioners got an update on the lack of progress being made on these problems.
FAIR ASSOCIATION IN HOT WATER
The Baldwin County Cattle and Fair Association continues to be in hot water with the Baldwin County Commission.
The latest inspection of the Baldwin County Coliseum once again found unsanitary conditions in the kitchen and bathrooms. Pictures shown to county commissioners in a Tuesday morning workshop were graphic.
Baldwin County Commissioner Charles "Skip" Gruber shook his head and said, "It's very disappointing because all the hard work that went to getting this facility put in."
SIXTY DAYS TO FIX PROBLEMS ALMOST UP
An inspection two months ago first documented the nasty conditions and maintenance problems at the Coliseum.
The Baldwin County Cattle and Fair Association were given 60 days to clean up and fix the problems. That time runs out July 8.
Conditions at the coliseum aren't just a cosmetic issue, they're a safety issue. It is the county's primary shelter and in the condition it's in now it couldn't be used immediately.
To use the shelter, a janitorial company would have to be called in for an emergency cleaning. That would cost the county thousands of dollars and valuable time in an emergency situation.
Baldwin County Commissioner Robert "Bob" James said, "We need to be prepared at moment's notice to go ahead and have the place cleaned up so we can have a shelter."
CATTLE AND FAIR SILENT
To find out why the Coliseum hadn't been cleaned up we reached out to Cattle and Fair President Sonny Hankins.
After several calls we were able to get hold of him, but he wouldn't answer any questions. He just directed us to the association's Birmingham lawyer.
Meanwhile, Commissioners told us the association needs to live up to the terms of their lease and get on with the cleaning.
"When you take the responsibility of renting a building out and you're going to take ownership of making sure it's kept clean that's your responsibility and it needs to be followed through," Gruber said.
Because of the way the original lease was written in 2005, the county can't evict the Cattle and Fair association easily. That would likely take a lawsuit.
The county already has two other lawsuits pending against the Cattle and Fair Association.
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