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updated: 3/3/2014 6:08 AM

Plan would use private funds to fix fairgrounds

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- State agricultural officials and some lawmakers say private money could help make major repairs at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

State Sen. Andy Manar has filed legislation that would allow the Department of Agriculture to form a state fairground foundation to solicit private money to upgrade and repair fairgrounds in Springfield and DuQuoin.

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State agriculture Director Bob Flider tells the State Journal-Register in Springfield that he has a list of projects estimated to cost $30 million, but not enough money for them all.

Big projects like roof replacements and road repaving are managed through the state's Capital Development Board, but Flider says fairground repairs compete with other statewide infrastructure needs.

The idea comes six years after a power failure shut down the Springfield fairgrounds for nearly three months.

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