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EL PASO COUNTY FAIR ADVISORY BOARD PURSUING 4-H OPTION FOR 2020 COUNTY FAIR

El Paso County announced it would continue with a modified county fair this year, with the 115th annual fair featuring only 4-H exhibits and attractions.

Under normal circumstances, the fair would be held July 11-18 and would include around 200 activities that would draw approximately 25,000 participants and spectators. The county decided to carry on the fair tradition while providing a safe environment but also recognized large events would be difficult while maintaining social distancing requirements at performances, carnival and vendor areas. The 4-H-only fair option would allow for 4-H participants to complete their projects and potentially participate at the state fair.

“The El Paso County Fair is a treasured family tradition, and I appreciate the work done to carry that forward in some modified fashion,” said Mark Waller, chair of the Board of County Commissioners. “While we would love to hold a normal fair, we agree it is unlikely the governor will loosen restrictions in time. However, this approach is good for those in the 4-H program and we look forward to our regular fair returning in 2021.”

“We all wish we could offer our regular county fair,” said Lori Harfert, chair of the Fair Advisory Board. “We are very interested in providing a positive 4-H fair experience for our youth.”

County staff will work with public health officials to determine the procedures for offering a 4-H Fair. This will likely include a limit on the number of individuals in barns, social distancing and other safety measures. Further information will be released in the coming weeks.

As the state guidelines evolve regarding COVID-19, the county will reevaluate county fair special events such as the demolition derby as stand-alone events later in the year.

For additional information or questions, contact Todd Marts, Recreation and Cultural Services Division Manager, at 719-520-6399 or via email at toddmarts@elpasoco.com.

COUNTY PLANNING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT WINS NATIONAL AWARD FOR WATER MASTER PLAN

El Paso County’s Planning and Community Development Department has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties. The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. The department won its 2020 NACo Achievement Award in the Planning Category for its Water Master Plan. This is the second award for the El Paso County Water Master Plan, which also won an award from the American Planning Association (Colorado Chapter) in 2019.

“It is a great honor for El Paso County to be recognized by the National Association of Counties for our Water Master Plan. El Paso County has developed into a national leader in the area of planning for growth and development, particularly with respect to potential impacts to our most important natural resource, water,” said El Paso County Planning and Community Development Executive Director Craig Dossey. “The Water Master Plan provides guidance that is intended to inform future land use decisions, to help ensure that we as a community are able to balance the efficient use of our limited water supplies with the water needs of the current and future residents of our great county.”

The Water Master Plan examines the current state of water resources in El Paso County and provides an overview of county water supply needs to sustain the current population and accommodate growth through the year 2060. The Water Master Plan is a tool used to evaluate development proposals and guide county officials, staff, citizens and water providers as the region experiences significant growth in the coming years. It is an element of the overall County Master Plan, which is currently being developed.

The public can participate in the Master Plan development process and virtually provide feedback on the County Master Plan via interactive online activities at ElPaso.HLPlanning.com.

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