Essex County Fair numbers questioned

— Roby Politi is not pleased with what he has heard.

The North Elba supervisor took time during the Aug. 20 Public Works Committee Meeting of the Essex County Board of Supervisors to voice concerns over the response he has received about the Essex County Fair.

“I am under the impression that it was not a successful fair,” Politi said. “I just wonder whether the county fair is feasible with what is going on financially today.”

Westport Supervisor Daniel Connell, who chairs the Fair Committee, said this year was challenging, but only a setback compared to previous years.

“It rained every day, so that didn’t help,” Connell said. “We are looking at some different things. If we can find a carnival, we are going to look to change the date because Addison County and Franklin County are holding their fairs at the same time.”

Connell said that in the years leading up to the Aug. 8-12 fair, they had seen steady growth in attendance numbers.

Connell added that for most counties, a successful year financially was not entirely based on the fair.

“Most counties that own their facilities are able to have off-season rental and activities,” Connell said. “With all of the improvements that we have made, we feel that the county can break even.”

To that end, Politi added a concern that he had about “squatters” on the fairgrounds, especially in the horse barns.

“I am under the impression that we have a number of people that are using the facilities that may not be paying or are delinquent,” he said.

“Most of it deals with horse rentals and stalls are being locked,” Connell said. “We have three people right now that have received documents from the county attorney as a first step to start the legal process.”

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