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PHS equestrian: Team sweep (copy)

Philomath High School Equestrian Team members Emily Joliff, left, and Wyatt Krohn drill inside the arena at the Benton County Fairgrounds in April 2016. The county is launching a process to update the facilities master plan for the fairgrounds.

Benton County officials are seeking community input on possible facilities improvements at the fairgrounds, with a pair of public meetings scheduled for next week.

The county is launching a process to update the facilities master plan for the fairgrounds, where some of the buildings have a backlog of deferred maintenance. In addition, a proposal to convert the Benton Arena into an exhibition hall has met with resistance from some community members who rely on the dirt-floored facility for horse and dog events.

The master plan will identify priorities for new construction and building improvements as well as a business plan that explores management options, budget needs and potential funding mechanisms.

Markin Consulting will lead the economic analysis and public outreach components of the planning process, the county announced.

The firm will facilitate two public meetings, scheduled for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday in the auditorium at the fairgrounds, 110 SW 53rd St. in Corvallis.

For those unable to attend, an online survey will be available starting Nov. 1 at

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Special Projects Editor

Special Projects Editor, Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald