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The Levy County Fair Association bounced a $2,000 check that was written to Robinson's Racing Pigs, and the animal show owners are not standing still.
Randall and Sharon Ross of Fort White own the racing pigs, which they brought to Williston for the county fair from Nov. 8 through Nov. 12. Randall Ross said he deposited the check from the Levy County Fair Association on Nov. 13. It was returned for insufficient funds. When he called Levy County Fair President Bob Levesque, the fair offered to pay the couple $100 a month on the $2,000 debt, Ross said.
"That's almost two years to pay off what we are owed now," he added.
The couple contacted the office of Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Bill Cervone to file paperwork for writing a worthless check. On Dec. 6, White said he planned to mail the papers on Dec. 7.
Levesque said the fair spent $13,000 beyond what it was able to raise from donations and ticket sales. About a dozen people are owed money by the fair, Levesque said, and some of them received bounced checks just like the Ross couple.
No bank will loan the fair association money to pay off their bad debts, Levesque said. Fair leaders are seeking loans from private sources, whom they intend to pay off as soon as possible, Levesque said.
The fair owes money to some individuals who are more reasonable about this situation than others, Levesque said. The people who are giving the association some more time, he said, are willing to work for the good of the community.
"We're just struggling volunteers," he said. "We're doing the best we can."
The Levy County Fair disappeared for a couple of decades. Levesque and others made the event happen this fall as they revived it. He plans to continue working toward future fairs.
"We're going to do it next year," he said, "and we're going to do it better."