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Connell wants to turn lights out on fairgrounds freeloaders

Westport Supervisor Daniel Connell

Westport Supervisor Daniel Connell Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Westport Supervisor Dan Connell said the time has come to pay the piper at the Essex County Fairgrounds.

During a discussion on rentals on the fairgrounds during the Dec. 17 DPW Committee meeting, Connell said he was prepared to turn the lights and water off in the horse barns because the stall rentals were not being paid.

“We have people in there that are not paying, and the county should not be paying for their electricity and their water,” Connell said. “I am making a strong recommendation to shut the water and the electricity off to the race horse barns. I have told Tony not to plow the track. The county attorney is working to go through the courts to get the money that is owned to us.”

Connell said that there are currently 17 horses that are housed in the county stalls and that the horses are trained by the same family.

“There are three people, all in the same family,” Connell said. “They have all of the horses. They do not own them all. They are getting paid for training; they are just not turning the stall rent over to us as they are getting paid.”

County Attorney Dan Manning said that legal avenues are already being pursued.

“The initial paperwork is all ready to go,” Manning said. “The owner said that he will come in Jan. 19 to pay. If they do not come in, we will file paperwork in the town court where he lives. I don't see that they have any defenses. Within a month, we would have an order of eviction.”

Connell said that he would wait until the Jan. 19 date to shut the utilities off, but that he wanted to end this issue as soon as possible.

Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley was concerned about the treatment of the horses if the power and water were shut off.

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