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‘Beer tent’ to go before full board

Connell: did not think matter would be 'controversial'

Westport Supervisor Daniel Connell addresses the members of the Ways and Means Committee meeting April 30.

Westport Supervisor Daniel Connell addresses the members of the Ways and Means Committee meeting April 30. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— “I am hoping that this would reduce the inappropriate drinking,” Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley said. “I think that controlled and monitored beer drinking would be more appropriate.”

“We have been pushing our contract agencies to do more with less,” Minerva Supervisor Sue Montgomery Corey said. “This is not a perfect scenario to add revenue, but there is a policy in place.“

“I support an alcohol free fair, but we have a policy in place that says groups can have alcohol at events,” Essex Supervisor Sharon Boisen said.

However, Lewis Supervisor David Blades said that he had to go on his experiences with the former beer tent as a member of the New York State Police.

“I became very jaded when I was wearing the gray uniform and called to the fairgrounds over and over again for disturbances that were involved with the use and abuse of alcohol,” Blades said.

“I had people coming up to me and congratulating me for voting against this,” Schroon Supervisor Michael Marnell said. “I don't doubt that the committee can control the crowd while they are in the tent, but it is after they leave the tent. The consequences are too great to take that chance.”

Willsboro Supervisor Ed Hatch said he did not feel the beer tent would have enough of an impact to the fair’s bottom line.

“I do not see where you are going to have a lot of profit from the beer tent,” he said.

Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava said he felt having a beer tent at the fair would send the wrong message.

“I think that we are taking a step backwards,” Scozzafava said. “If (alcohol consumption) is taking place, shame on us and shame on whoever is supposed to be there to monitor it. I think that this sends the wrong message because we have DWI and drinking awareness events there every year.”

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