HICKSVILLE — “They say necessity is the mother of invention,” said Defiance County Commissioner Mick Pocratsky, “and if any of you were standing here three years ago, you would understand the necessity.”
The “necessity” Pocratsky spoke of was a cracked, broken concrete slab located between the Defiance County Fair’s merchant’s building and agricultural hall. For years, the area had been the location of a number of fair-related activities, but it was best known for the meals and entertainment at senior citizens day and veterans day at the fair.
On Wednesday during the fair’s annual senior luncheon and entertainment, Pocratsky was one of many on hand to dedicate the new permanent structure for use by seniors and vets.
The former slab of concrete had often been covered by a tent in years past; now, it has been replaced by a 40-by 60-foot structure. Open on all four sides, the facility has been constructed atop a new concrete pad and includes several of what Pocratsky calls “add-ons,” including partial stone pillars and a decorative cupola on the roof. Extra concrete also has been poured in order to accommodate possible crowd overflow. The area also contains electricity for charging mobile scooters.
The new structure was officially completed on the week of July 21 in time for the dedication exactly one month later.
The project’s final costs come to about $142,000, paid for via a lodging tax and numerous donations, including $30,000 from Rep. Craig Riedel, $60,000 from the Defiance Area Foundation, and $1,000 from Smith-Brown Funeral Home of Hicksville.
As a local resident who uses the fairgrounds for a walking area, Pocratsky said it was his pleasure to see the structure take shape every day.
Riedel and Christa Luteman of the governor’s office also made brief remarks before the ribbon cutting, which was done by Tina Hiler of the Defiance County Senior Center and Tanya Brunner of the Defiance County Veterans Office.
Defiance County commissioners Ryan Mack and Gary Plotts, Lou Ann Cooke of the office of Lt. Gov. John Husted, and Jerry Overmier of Beilharz Architects were also present.