After temporarily cutting several positions to bolster its bottom line, the Jackson County Expo plans to add back a financial officer position to start the new year.
The decision on who will fill the park's fiscal manager position will be made by Dec. 31, with a likely start date of Jan. 2. The 32-hour-a-week position will have a starting wage of between $27.24 and $34.77, according to the job posting.
Whoever takes the post will oversee purchasing, accounting and inventory control and prepare financial reports. The fiscal manager will also help make recommendations about finances.
"It's a very important position," said Jackson County Fair Board President Chris Smith.
Expo officials cut the position — along with a sales position and several other event workers — for the months of November and December, when fewer Expo events are held. Facility officials also trimmed back by using outside promoters for two concerts.
"It reduced payroll by a significant amount," Smith said of the budget-cutting moves.
The measures were necessary to finish out the year within budget, which at $1.42 million was down more than $500,000 from the 2012-13 budget of $2 million. Expo officials said the belt-tightening moves are aimed at becoming self-sustaining, so the fair will not require help from Jackson County's general fund.
"We have to live within our means," Smith said. "You've got to make those tough decisions."
Jackson County officials also want to see the Expo operate without any help from taxpayer dollars.
The Fair Board has asked forgiveness on $300,000 in debt owed the county, a request the county commissioners have not officially signed off on but have tentatively agreed to. After that, county officials have said, the Expo will be on its own.
"We'd like to see the fair become self-sufficient," said Jackson County Commissioner John Rachor, liaison to the fair board. "They've made some great changes out there. We've seen some real positive efforts that they've made. Some of those efforts weren't being made before."
Rachor added the Expo's financial woes are not unique, and are shared by numerous similar operations across the state and U.S.
Expo sales position and event worker positions that were cut for November and December will also likely be added back.
"I'll be glad to get back to the full cast of characters," said Expo Director Dave Koellermeier.
Mainstay events such as the rodeo, county fair, Harvest Fair, Home Show and holiday market are set to go, with contracts for additional 2014 events pending.
"There are a lot of folks out there who are eager to be partners with us," Smith said. "We have the infrastructure, we have the buildings. We just need to create more relationships with people who are good at what they're doing."
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.