Allen County Fair: Grimm’s contract not renewed

LIMA — The Allen County Agricultural Society Board of Directors decided to not renew the contract of fair manager David Grimm once it expires Nov. 30.

The board made the decision Wednesday at its regular meeting.

Fair board president Dan Kimmet released very little information on the board’s decision.

“We just felt that we wanted to go in a different direction,” Kimmet said, “so we decided not to renew his contract.”

Grimm took over the position in September 2012 after Jay Begg stepped down after 17 years. Kimmet refused to comment on Grimm’s performance in his three years at the helm.

“There is really nothing else that the board wants to say at this point,” Kimmet said.

Kimmet said Grimm has agreed to stay at the position until the contract expires in November.

Grimm also did not want to comment much on the circumstances resulting in the board deciding not to renew his contract.

“I put a tremendous amount of effort into the fair,” Grimm said. “I will continue to do so while I am there until Nov. 30. I wish them the best of luck.”

Fairground office manager Sue Butcher and board member Denny Scott were contacted, but they referred all questions to Kimmet.

Prior to this year’s fair, which was Aug. 21 to 29, Grimm told The Lima News that the fair board had discussed in length about continuing to bring high-profile acts to the fair. He said the fair had developed a reputation for high-profile acts, but unfortunately costs had also escalated. On the last day of the fair, an 8 p.m. concert featuring country acts Sam Hunt and Lady Antebellum resulted in the largest one-day attendance in fair history at 46,645. Total fair attendance also was at an all-time mark at 209,722. However, financial numbers have not yet been released. Kimmet would not say if numbers affected the decision to let Grimm go.

In comparison, the 2014 fair had a total attendance of 190,020 with a one-day high of 44,188 on Aug. 23. In 2013, the attendance was 178,848 with a one-day high of 30,503.

“It was a pretty good fair with attendance up at the gates,” Kimmet said. “The weather was as nice as we could ask for.”

Kimmet said the board will immediately begin seeking Grimm’s replacement. He said the board is currently putting together a job description to advertise and then will begin doing so.

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David Grimm, the general manager of the Allen County Fair, speaks to the media when he was introduced in September 2012. Grimm, the general manager of the Allen County Fair, speaks to the media when he was introduced in September 2012.
Allen County Fair general manager to continue to Nov. 30

By Lance Mihm

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