Multi-million dollar project to turn Waverly cropland into hub - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Multi-million dollar project to turn Waverly cropland into hub of Bremer County

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

Flooded fairgrounds will be a thing of the past because the Bremer County Fair is moving west of Waverly as early as 2016.

"It should provide a big boom to the area just because it's a destination spot where people want to come and spend their money," said Chris Knapp, General Manager of the Bremer County Fair Association.

The multi-million dollar project, called Champions Ridge, will be home to the Bremer County Fair as well as multiple baseball diamonds.

"What I'm picturing in my head is seeing barns and a pond here in the front part of the property, lighted diamonds in the back with kids playing ball, families watching," said Fred Ribich, Chair of Champions Ridge.

"All of this will take place in an environment that is designed to support those activities, it's not make-shift, it's not inadequate in terms of parking and everything else, but it's designed for families and kids and adults to have fun," Ribich said.

Knapp said it will be the first time in its history that the Bremer County Fair will own the ground it sits on.

According to Knapp, the Bremer County Fair has been renting approximately 18-acres in southwest Waverly, and the lease with the city expires in February of 2019.

But by 2016, the Bremer County Fair could be moved to more than 40 acres of land at its new location off Highway 3.

"When we move out here all of our parking will be on site which will make things much safer and give us room to add even more things and more events for people to attend," said Knapp.

The first phase of the Champions Ridge project includes four multi-use ball diamonds with clay infields, portable fences and stadium lighting, a concession stand and diamond equipment, seven fairground buildings including a new 4-H building and show ring, plus barns for beef, dairy, sheep, horse and swing.

Tab Ray, from the City of Waverly, said the City has invested almost $2 million in the project, however, he said no tax increases are expected for residents to cover the project.

Tim Neil with the Bremer County Board of Supervisors said the county has agreed to provide $30,000 for the project.

Additional funding is expected to come from grants and private donations and partnerships.

Long term plans include adding an ice rink and campground.

More information can be found here.

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