By Bennito L. Kelty for Yuma Sun
COVID-19 has delayed activity on the relocation plans for the Yuma County Fairgrounds, officials said.
Some funding to begin the process of moving the fairgrounds away from the Marine Corps Air Station – Yuma appeared to be close to being delivered to Yuma County, and the process was expected to begin in July, until the county started responding to the spread of coronavirus in March.
Paul Melcher, Yuma County Director of Economic Development and Intergovernmental Affairs, said that when the coronavirus response began, the county was in a position to buy land for the temporary relocation in July.
A $5M allocation from the state was near a final vote in the Arizona Legislature in early March, and county staff met with staff in Washington D.C., who told them that multiple federal allocations and grants could fund the project.
Supervisor Lynne Pancrazi said she and everyone involved was very excited at that time because a significant step in the project was about to be made.
Pancrazi said tax revenue across all levels of government is expected to decline because of the toll the coronavirus is exacting from businesses, and she said she expects this to contribute to the delay and limitations that the county will have in getting the project going again.
Pancrazi said that project isn’t done and will definitely still happen. However, she and Melcher had no idea the extent of the delay that the project faces.
The county has to move the fairgrounds because of concerns that the property’s proximity to MCAS-Yuma puts it at risk in the case of an accident.
Read more at Yuma Sun.