Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson -- who opposes the sale of beer at the Union County Fair -- went to Monday's fair board meeting expecting to hear the board decide if the sales should be approved.

Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson -- who opposes the sale of beer at the Union County Fair -- went to Monday's fair board meeting expecting to hear the board decide if the sales should be approved.

To Nelson's surprise, fair board president Dale Madison said the board approved beer sales during its April meeting.

Nelson said he met with the fair board's beer committee on June 17 when it was not made clear to him the decision already had been made.

"The fair board has made their decision. Although they may have good intentions, we will see how it works out," Nelson said.

This will be the first year for beer sales at the fair, which will run July 21-27.

Fair board member Mike Butcher said alcohol will be permitted only in a beer garden at the west end of the grandstand.

He said the board has not yet finalized the specific hours beer will be served.

Madison said the beer tent likely will be run by Concessions by Cox, but no contract has been signed.

Also Monday, the board held a 20-minute executive session to speak with its attorney, Chad Foisset.

The state open meeting law allows public bodies to hold closed-door meetings to discuss personnel, litigation or land purchase. The motion calling for the executive session did not cite any of those reasons.

Reporters from three news publications, including ThisWeek, voiced objections to the closed meeting.