DEC announces agreement to keep Americade in Lake George

ALBANY - The popular motorcycle rally Americade will stay in Lake George this year if a tentative agreement reached between the event's founder and the state of New York is signed, according to state officials.

State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today that the state has formed a partnership with Warren County that will allow Americade to use the Lake George Beach, Battlefield Park and Prospect Mountain Day Use Areas for the June 2011 event.

The agreement would lead to the issuance of a "temporary revocable permit" allowing Americade to use the state-owned lands in the village and town of Lake George.

Americade founder Bill Dutcher had asked the state to lower the permit price from the proposed amount of $82,000 to $50,000, or else he may move the event to Massachusetts. And that's exactly what the state did in its new agreement.

The permit price is now $50,000; however, the DEC still has to make up the difference in labor costs to staff the traffic-control portion of the event, according to the DEC, which has claimed thousands of dollars of expenses associated with Americade, assertions that many others have contended. The bulk of the vendors are usually located in the Million Dollar Beach parking lot. "Our goal was always to recover our costs," DEC spokesperson Michael Bopp said in a March 25 phone interview. "It should not be on the taxpayers' purse."

An email late Friday from Americade organizers said that the agreement called for Americade to shoulder motorcycle public parking lot staffing responsibilities and costs which were previously provided by the DEC.

This year's deal would be similar to the one in 2010 in which Americade pays entrance fees on behalf of the participants under the terms of the DEC permit.

DEC has traditionally provided Environmental Conservation Officers to help with traffic control at Americade. In announcing the agreement, Bopp said will still help this year, but not as much because the Warren County Sheriff's Office will now take up the slack and provide extra law enforcement help, according to Bopp.

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