Americade signs DEC agreement

"We're trying to responsibly manage the state lands," Bopp said in a phone interview March 28, defending the DEC's permit fee for Americade.

The bulk of the vendors are usually located in Lake George's Million Dollar Beach parking lot, a state facility that is operated by the DEC. Americade also hosts a barbecue and party atop Prospect Mountain.

The DEC charges parking fees to the public for its day-use areas throughout the state. In the Lake George region, the fees are: $6 per car at areas where there are no swimming facilities; $8 per car at swimming areas where life guards are on duty; $4 per motorcycle; $8 per car to park at Lake George Beach or $6 per car after 5 p.m.; and $8 per car and $40 per bus at Prospect Mountain.

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.

Help from Warren County

The DEC has traditionally provided Environmental Conservation Officers to help with traffic control at Americade. In announcing the agreement, Bopp said the state will still help this year, but not as much as in the past because the Warren County Sheriff's Office will now provide most of the law enforcement help. And that enticed the DEC to lower its permit fee for this year.

"Americade is of vital economic importance to Warren County and the surrounding communities and we have all benefitted from the responsiveness of DEC and its cooperation to secure Americade's continued presence in Lake George for years to come," Dan Stec, Queensbury town supervisor and chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, said in the March 25 DEC press release.

Americade reaction

The March 25 announcement from the DEC was a little premature. When contacted in the afternoon on March 25, Americade's Bill Dutcher said his organization and the DEC only had a "tacit understanding" as to the permit's details. In an e-mail sent later in the day, Americade Vice President Christian Dutcher said his "advisors" would review the papers and issue "a formal release of acceptance." That happened on March 29.

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