Concern Arises Regarding Emery County Fair


A Facebook post on Thursday morning caused a stir in Emery County as it was shared that the county’s traditional fair will not be taking place in 2022.

“The Emery County Fair has been canceled until further notice,” the post simply stated. The post cause outcry among Emery County residents who anticipate the annual event.

Emery County Commissioner Kent Wilson addressed the statement, verifying its validity and explaining the reasoning behind the decision.

According to Wilson, the decision to forgo the 2022 Emery County Fair was made during budget discussions last year. At that time, the commissioners were trying to find nearly $400,000 within the budget to reallocate to Emery County First Responders for pay increases.

The need for pay increases stemmed from difficulty in not only retaining first responders, but also recruiting additional first responders that are in high demand. The commissioners decided that pay increases for all first responders were not only well deserved, but also necessary to maintain full crews to serve Emery County residents.

With funds being tight, the commissioners reviewed various aspects of the county’s budget, looking for areas in which to reallocate funds in order to increase pay for first responders without increasing taxes for county residents. Ultimately, one of the budgets that was determined to be adjusted was for the Emery County Fair.

The funds allocated to the Emery County Fair come from the general fund, which is funded by taxpayers. Wilson agreed that the fair is an important aspect of Emery County, but stated that fairly compensating first responders took priority in order to best serve the residents of Emery County.

However, Wilson explained that other avenues can be explored in order to continue the tradition of the fair. One option is using funds from the Emery County Travel Bureau to fund the fair instead of taxpayer money.

The Emery County Travel Bureau is largely funded by Transient Room Taxes (TRT), which are taxes imposed on hotels and motels for short-term stays. These taxes fund the travel bureau as it works to manage and promote tourism in Emery County.

Wilson explained that TRT could be used to host the fair and welcomes input from Emery County residents on this topic. He said that this avenue can be pursued, but not until 2023 due to the fact that the budget is already being set for this year.

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