(AP) – Agricultural leaders have established a not-for-profit Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation to catch up on nearly $200 million in needed maintenance.
Gov. Bruce Rauner joined the group at the Illinois State Fair for Tuesday’s Agricultural Day.
The foundation’s task will be to raise funds to maintain the fairgrounds in Springfield and DuQuoin, which the beleaguered state budget has been unable to do.
Combined, the fairgrounds have $180 million in overdue maintenance.
The grounds in Springfield have 170 buildings – the oldest 124 years – on 360 acres.
The oldest among 20 buildings at DuQuoin – which has 1,200 acres – is 93 years.
Rauner supported legislation last spring in the General Assembly to create the foundation, but the measure stalled.
The Springfield festival runs through Sunday.