MENLO — On the hottest day of June, a crew from Naselle Rock and Asphalt Co. raked, shoveled and paved under a glaring afternoon sun.

The paving work was the final chapter of a drainage remediation project at the Pacific County Fairgrounds started by Bill Monohon last spring, shortly after starting his post as Pacific County fair manager.

“Things are happening,” Monohon, 65, said as he observed the progress Wednesday, June 12.

More than $300,000 in grants and pledges

Monohon has been on a mission since starting his manager role in April 2018.

In that time, Monohon has harnessed more than $313,000 in grant and pledge money for improvements at the Pacific County Fairgrounds.

In 2018, $53,733 was awarded by Washington state and the Washington State Department of Agriculture for drainage and mold remediation projects. Small bleachers near the first aid building were also added with $1,388.35 in funds from the Mandel Family Trust Foundation.

After writing his first grant in 2018, Monohon took a course at Grays Harbor College, where he honed his skills on where to look and how to apply for state funds.

This year, he secured a $210,000 Washington State Local Improvement Project grant that will be used in a roofing project to replace rusty tin roofs on five buildings including the livestock, 4-H, vegetable, floral and workshop warehouse buildings.

The fairgrounds received a $25,000 pledge from the LV & SJ Raymond Foundation and a $5,000 pledge from Harbor Pacific for an LED lighting project to replace antiquated fluorescent and halogen lighting with cooler, more energy-efficient LED lights.

“The halogen lights would heat everything and cost a fortune,” Monohon said.

“All of our big, outside halogen lights are going LED, too.”

New tables and chairs will be available for the 2019 fair following a $18,516 donation from the Mandel Family Trust Foundation.

Luke Whittaker is a staff writer for Coast River Business Journal and the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or lwhittaker@crbizjournal.com.

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