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Association will now be responsible for maintaining and upgrading the rodeo grounds and adjacent city park

The St. Paul Rodeo grounds and the adjacent city park will be managed and maintained by the St. Paul Rodeo Association in an agreement signed by the town's council in early February.SUBMITTED PHOTO - St. Paul Rodeo Association President Kevin Smith (right) and St. Paul Mayor Martin Waldo signed the agreement on Feb. 13.

Included in that pact is the council's approval to allow the rodeo association to make nearly $450,000 in capital improvements to the complex and replace the stadium and park's aging lighting system.

"The final agreement is the result of more than two and one-half years of negotiations and will usher in a new level of cooperation between the city and the association," said Cindy Schonholtz, rodeo general manager. "It has strong support from community stakeholders, including the St. Paul School District, St. Paul Fire District, St. Paul Parish and the St. Paul Jaycees. Public comment was also sought on the draft agreement to ensure the public had a chance to weigh in."

Among the stakeholders that have a vested interest in seeing the complex improved is the parish and the Jaycees, which man lucrative food booths during the annual rodeo, and St. Paul High School, whose football team plays its home games in the rodeo arena.

The agreement between the city and the association has a 50-year term and replaces an existing use agreement that was due to expire in 2036.

"The long term will allow the association to keep producing a world class rodeo event and facilitate future improvements to include new stadium lighting and bleachers," Schonholtz said. "The association will maintain the facility and assume responsibility for year-round maintenance of the city park to reduce city expenses and provide an improved and accessible community park."

What's more, the city will get some rodeo cash under the agreement. Schonholtz said the city will receive a base annual revenue share that will see percentage increase each year based on the Consumer Price Index.

In addition, the city will get an "additional share of certain ticket sales and fees collected at non-St. Paul Rodeo events at the complex, if they occur," according to a press release.

An additional perk for both the city and the rodeo association is the agreement finalizes a plan to connect the city's water system to an association well, a move that has been in the works for years.

That move, however, must be approved by the Oregon Housing Authority and other state agencies. Connection to the association's well will allow the city to mothball one of its aging wells, improve flow for fighting fires and alleviate some of the city's ongoing water system issues.


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