Village hears festival comments

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Sunday, July 1, 2012 | Categories:
WATKINS GLEN—At the regular meeting held on Monday, Aug. 6, the Watkins Glen village board discussed the impacts, concerns and results of the annual Italian-American Festival that was held over this past weekend in Clute Park. Chief of Police Tom Struble said that from a police perspective the festival, “went great,” utilities department Superintendent Mark Specchio reported a blown transformer, and Mayor Mark Swinnerton discussed the village’s tobacco ban that was in place at the festival. Struble reported only two festival related arrests for the entire weekend. He also commented that although the traffic was heavy at times, especially Saturday night for the fireworks, it was still flowing throughout the weekend. He said that there was a “substantial” crowd Saturday night and his officers did not encounter any major problems. He attributed this success to the excellent working relationship and communication between his department and the festival’s private security. The utilities aspect of the festival did not go quite as smoothly. Specchio explained that someone, probably prior to the festival, had tampered with the electrical supply at one of the pedestals in Clute Park in an effort to modify it to suit their needs and then re-wired the pedestal incorrectly when finished. This contributed to a blown transformer which caused a section of the festival to lose electricity until replaced. Power was restored when the burned out transformer was replaced with a larger transformer. Specchio added that the locks on the pedestals will be checked and replaced if necessary to discourage future tampering. Swinnerton then commented that there was “a lot of smoking going on,” at the festival. The village had passed a ban on the use of tobacco products on village property that went into effect on June 30. The ban excludes the Clute Park campgrounds but does cover the lake side of the park, where the festival is held. Swinnerton said he had received two complaints about tobacco use in the park and Struble said that a few individuals inquired as to the enforcement of the policy. Clerk Donna Beardsley learned that the signs informing the public of the ban had not been put up at the time of the festival. The board discussed the possibility of delineating a smoking area at the park for future festivals. Swinnerton said it would be cleaner to leave the current tobacco ban in place as is and to do a better job of public awareness by placing the signs and possibly informing vendors of the policy. In other business: • The Watkins Glen Fire Department will be holding its 150th anniversary celebration on Saturday, Aug. 25. The event begins with a parade at 2 p.m. Robert DeDominick appeared at the meeting to personally invite the mayor and the board members to attend the parade and the gathering scheduled to follow. Swinnerton expressed that he would be happy to attend the celebration. • Mayor Swinnerton explained that the closing had occurred on the Salt Point Road property which contains the village’s raw water intake facility. The new developer is Bruce Nelson who has already begun work on the project. There is a coordination meeting scheduled with Nelson and the village department heads affected by the project. The closing occurred on Aug. 1. The next village board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 20, at 7 p.m. in the municipal building.
The Observer / The Watkins Glen REVIEW&EXPRESS
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