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Warrensburg's leaders act to shore up giant Garage Sale vendor revenue

A couple from Essex County attending the 2010 World's Largest Garage Sale transports their purchases down Hudson St. after obtaining the items from vendors situated on private property. Vendors are increasingly choosing to set up on private property rather than in Chamber of Commerce-sponsored spaces due to greater flexibility in display area, the ability to sell for more days than the sanctioned two, and lower charges. This shift has slashed the Chamber's revenue from the colossal event, prompting the town government to more than double the price of their independent vendor permits and to split the proceeds with the Chamber.

A couple from Essex County attending the 2010 World's Largest Garage Sale transports their purchases down Hudson St. after obtaining the items from vendors situated on private property. Vendors are increasingly choosing to set up on private property rather than in Chamber of Commerce-sponsored spaces due to greater flexibility in display area, the ability to sell for more days than the sanctioned two, and lower charges. This shift has slashed the Chamber's revenue from the colossal event, prompting the town government to more than double the price of their independent vendor permits and to split the proceeds with the Chamber. Photo by Thom Randall.

— With the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce experiencing ever-greater competition from local property owners renting out their yards to vendors during the town’s annual World’s Largest Garage Sale, the town board decided this month to take action to keep the renowned event solvent and well-organized.

The Chamber of Commerce is losing spaces every year and cost of running the Garage Sale is increasing, Chamber officials reported at the town board’s June 11 meeting.

The board responded by raising the rate from $20 to $50 for the Individual Peddlers Permits that vendors situated on private yards must purchase. A portion of the the proceeds from the permits are to go to the Chamber to offset expenses.

These IPP permits are required on Main Street lots where the Chamber pays for garbage collection and for the rental of some of the Port-A-Johns.

Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty said the town will strictly enforce the law that vendors must obtain permits. Hundreds of local residents rent spaces on their property during the sale, and the practice has grown due to the flexibility in the space sizes and because the Chamber doesn’t allow sales to occur on their spaces until Saturday and many vendors are seeking to sell goods to the bargain hunters who annually arrive as early as Wednesday.

Geraghty announced at the meeting that the Town is applying for a Transportation Alternatives grant to continue work on building and improving sidewalks and bicycle routes as well as rehabilitating Main Street and other roadways in town. The Board thanked town employee Patty Monahan for her efforts in writing the grant applications.

Improvements pending for town parks

It was noted the Town received more funding from the state’s Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work & Play program — to purchase benches, trash cans, picnic tables and drinking fountains for the town recreation field off Library Avenue and Marcus Bruce Park. The grant also pays for many directional signs directing visitors to these town amenities. The board thanked Kathy Varney, coordinator of the program on behalf of Glens Falls Hospital, for working with the town staff to obtain the grant.

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