The Coast News Group
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Fair board approves 2009 budget without layoffs

DEL MAR — During their monthly meeting Nov. 12, directors of the 22nd District Agricultural Assn., commonly known as the San Diego County Fair Board, approved a 2009 budget of $59,366,234, up 1.58 percent from this year’s $59,873,l64.
General Manager Tim Fennell called it a very tight budget but promised that no personnel layoffs were anticipated. Expenses are expected to total $57,037,758.
Revenue from the 43-day race meet presented by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and the satellite wagering facility at Surfside Race Place on the ground will show a downturn this year and in 2009.
On a positive note, Deputy Manager Becky Bartling reported the Scream Zone that ended Nov. 1 was up 19 percent in attendance and 25 percent in revenue. Both are all time records for the event, which is now in its 11th year.
The 14th annual Holiday of Lights will open Nov. 27 and continue through Jan 4. Hours of operation will be 5:30 to
10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5:30 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
A new attraction is the home games of the San Diego Sockers, who played their first game in the fairgrounds sports arena Nov. 7. The league is comprised of 15 professional and 30 amateur teams divided into Eastern, Western, Canadian and Mexican divisions.
Fennell said the San Diego Sockers is one of the most successful teams in sports history, having won 10 championships in both Major Indoor Soccer and North American Soccer Leagues.
Directors also approved an agreement with Del Mar for the conveyance and disposal
of wastewater through the city’s sewer facilities, effective Dec. 1.