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Essex County votes no on beer tent

Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting (back) and District Attorney Kristy Sprague (middle) both spoke at the Essex County Board of Supervisors May 7 on the topic of a beer tent at the Essex County Fair. The resolution, which had passed the Ways and Means Committee, was defeated.

Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting (back) and District Attorney Kristy Sprague (middle) both spoke at the Essex County Board of Supervisors May 7 on the topic of a beer tent at the Essex County Fair. The resolution, which had passed the Ways and Means Committee, was defeated. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

“If anyone can tell me there is a positive of selling beer, I am willing to listen, but I doubt there is,” Severance said.

Sprague said that she felt the county should be proud of the fact that the county ran an alcohol-free fair.

“We should be advocating this,” Sprague said, adding that she hoped more steps would be taken to keep alcohol off the grounds.

“If we are going to be alcohol-free, then we have to be zero-tolerance,” she said.

“I am not naive enough to think that there is not alcohol there right now,” Sheriff Cutting said. “It is low-key and if we do find it, we take care of it.”

Cutting said that he has been avalanched with calls and e-mails about the topic over the last week.

“I am starting to understand a little about the seat that you sit in because since last week's article, I have been receiving emails and phone calls,” Cutting said. “The people who are for the beer sales are not the ones that are coming to talk to us. It is the ones who have the concerns, and a lot of them a valid.”

Cutting said that his office would act accordingly to any request they were given, including increasing the number of deputies at the fair from four to six.

Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava said he felt the county should not be picking up the tab for the extra officers.

“So if this body decides to allow the tent, it would be an additional cost,” he said. “Selling beer to make more money for the fair board, but it will cost the taxpayers more to sell that beer at the fairgrounds.”

“If the revenue is going to the fair board, I do not believe the taxpayers of the county should be picking up the extra costs associated with the security at the fair,” Politi added.

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