The Delaware County Fair Board likely will name Phil Terry as the fair's general manager next month while continuing to wrestle with what to do with a shortfall in operating funds.

The Delaware County Fair Board likely will name Phil Terry as the fair's general manager next month while continuing to wrestle with what to do with a shortfall in operating funds.

Board treasurer Tom Wright, who is chairman of the finance committee, told the 17-member board last week that his committee plans to recommend at the board's Jan. 20 meeting that Terry be named general manager and marketing director.

Wright said he and other officials need to meet once more with Terry on Dec. 29 to work out final details of Terry's compensation package for the dual post. Terry currently is interim manager and ran the 2008 fair in September. He took the post after Gary Must retired following five years as manager.

Terry. who first volunteered at the fair 40 years ago by directing traffic, has held various fair board positions. He said after Tuesday's meeting that he is very interested in the permanent job.

The board has been reassessing the future of the fair and the fairgrounds, including possibly increasing year-round activities, such as horse shows and horse sales.

Money troubles need to be dealt with this winter, however, board members said Tuesday night.

Terry told members that, as of mid-December, outstanding bills to vendors and others total $297,000. The fair has $114,000 in regular bank accounts, $40,000 in a reserve account and a $100,000 bank line of credit, he said.

"It's not enough to get us through the winter," Terry said.

The board on Tuesday discussed taking a look at additional bank loans to cover the shortfall. Terry said the local American Legion might also be willing to loan money to the fair.

Board president Kent Hastings announced he will hold a special board workshop at 10 a.m. on Jan. 31 to discuss finances and related issues.

"Look at all areas you deal with. Areas we can look at to look at cutting ... to help with our financial situation to get back on a positive financial footing," he told the board.

Costs are continuing to rise, including a water and sewer bill of $27,794 this year and a fuel bill of about $71,000.

Terry said one groundskeeper has been laid off and the others have had their hours cut to 30 hours a week. Two part-time employees are working minimum hours. He estimated the fair spends about $70,000 a month on its normal bills.

The board decided at Tuesday's meeting to increase stable rental fees at the fairgrounds by $10.

Effective Jan. 1, fees will go from $65 to $75 per stall. An average of 150 horses are housed in stables each month. While the fee increase is not going to make much of a dent in the fair's debt, board members agreed that every little bit helps.