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Cumming City Council dissolves fair authority
Cumming Fair

The Cumming City Council has disbanded the Cumming Fair Authority.

The decision was made at a regular city council meeting on Tuesday, where council members voted 5-0 to disband the authority and start the process for creating a new fair board. All items in possession of the authority will revert to the city.

“[The ordinance will] dissolve the Cumming Fair Authority, and in so doing, specifically provided that all of the property and assets — money and everything else, the possession of territory — comes back to the city of Cumming,” said City Attorney Kevin Tallant. “We also provided for the creation of a fair board in that same ordinance.”

Tallant said the council did not need to choose members of the board at the meeting. The number of board members is not set, and the board will only give recommendations about the Cumming Country Fair and Festival.

“We've set it up so you have at least five [and] as many as 20 members. Those members of the fair board will serve in a recommending capacity to you. Nothing they do is binding upon you,” he said. “They can ... make recommendations with respect to the fair itself, so not the entire fairground, with respect to the ten days of the fair we currently have in October.” 

The city council will also have the ability to remove members from the board. 

The fair authority became a hot topic for city residents recently after the previous city council — before Mayor Troy Brumbalow and Councilmen Chad Crane and Jason Evans took office — voted to give more than $1 million to the authority to operate. 

According to city documents, the authority was created by an ordinance on Feb. 19, 2013, with an eight-member board.

In the ordinance creating the authority, it is stated the purpose is “to create a recreational authority to develop and promote the public good and general welfare through the maintenance, management and operation of the Cumming Fairgrounds.”

According to online property records, the owner of the fairgrounds is listed as “City of Cumming Fairground.”

Previously, a reason given for creating the authority was members had the ability to sign multi-year agreements, while the city can only sign agreements lasting up to a year.

At a special called meeting last week, it was revealed the authority had never been used for that purpose and has not been part of any agreements

Those who have voiced opposition to the authority cited concerns with the makeup of the board, which include several former elected officials.