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The city of Hillsboro, Ore., and Washington County have pulled off a land swap geared to improve recreational opportunities and enhance tourism opportunities in the area. But some observers believe the deal could undermine the fairgrounds’ primary operations, the News-Times reported.

A tentative agreement calls for the city of Hillsboro to invest as much as $2 million to create an “urban recreational vehicle campground” on five acres of land within the Washington County Fair Complex. In exchange, Hillsboro will take over ownership of 15 acres of county land at the fairgrounds that is used for soccer, softball and tennis. The city has managed and maintained the athletic fields for about 40 years.

Meanwhile, Washington County will be able to build a public RV park, which tourism proponents have identified as a growing need in the Hillsboro community.

Both parcels are side by side at the fairgrounds’ southwestern edge, with the proposed RV site directly east of the athletic fields.

“The concept of a high quality urban campground has been considered for several years,” said Washington County Chairman Andy Duyck. “Recent discussions with the city of Hillsboro have yielded an opportunity to create that space, while at the same time creating certainty for Hillsboro to re-invest in the ball fields on the fairgrounds.”

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