WILLIAMSON COUNTY (KXAN) — Williamson County Commissioners have made an agreement with the Williamson County Fair Association. It will establish a county fair and rodeo at the Expo Center in Taylor.
According to the funding document, the Williamson County Commissioners Court budgeted $100,000 to fund the fair and rodeo. The money will come in three separate installments, with the first installment to be paid Jan. 10, 2020.
The agreement says the Fair Association will reimburse the funds to the county within four years. However, the county may forgive that obligation if the “public purpose” has been met.
The “public purpose” is to “support, encourage, promote and maintain agricultural educational functions for youth,” according to the funding report.
Under item number 12 of the funding agreement, the County and Fair Assocation states that “No officer, agent or employee of the County” should have any “Personal interest, direct or indirect, in this agreement.”
Scott Heselmeyer is the president for the Williamson County Fair Association. In addition, he serves as the Williamson County treasurer.
KXAN talked to him about the details of this agreement and if he has any personal interest in it. Heselmeyer says his role in the Fair and Rodeo Association is on a volunteer basis, and there is no conflict of interest.
“As elected officials, we all have our volunteer side of us that we participate in,” Heselmeyer said. “This is an opportunity to help give back to the community, and help promote something that is going to be good for the community.”
Heselmeyer says, as a matter of practice, when any check leaves the county, it has his signature and the county auditor’s signature.
Jerri Jones is the Williamson County auditor who is appointed by the district judges. In addition to her office’s review, the county commissioners approve all checks during Tuesday commissioner court meetings prior to delivery.
“We have built into this contract audit functions from the auditor’s office, which is very separate than mine,” Heselmeyer said. “They are the ones that are providing the checks and balances on what’s being spent from the county.”
Williamson County already has rodeos: one in Taylor and another run by the Williamson County Sheriff’s Posse. After 75 years of operation in Georgetown, the WCSP hosted its last event at that venue in June 2018. It moved to a new arena in Jarrell in 2019.
“We have two great rodeos. We have a livestock show that just occurred a couple weeks ago,” Heselmeyer said. “But, we have never had a county fair in the sense that you think about it.”
The Fair Association is currently in the contract negotiation phase with different performers and providers and plans to make an entertainment announcement in January. The Williamson County Fair and Rodeo will run Oct. 22-24, 2020.