Fairgrounds Task Force

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 - 8:30 am

 

 

Roy Holzer - Chairman

 

Chairman Holzer called this Fairgrounds Task Force to order at 8:30 with the following in attendance: Roy Holzer, Ken Hughes, Jim Monty, Matt Stanley, Meg Wood, Mark Wright, Jim Dougan, and Mike Mascarenas.

 

Also Present: Dina Garvey, Holly Aquino, Becky Provost and Dennie Westover.

 

HOLZER: So, letís start with Holly.

 

AQUINO: You can see the report and I think a couple, one of the new things that was added onto the calendar was the Ag Society Craft Show, Swap Meet and theyíre adding a car show into that event.

 

PROVOST: Correct

 

AQUINO: At the end of April. They did something similar, last year at the end of April, as well, but not with the car show. So, thatís in the works for them.

In terms of activities, we did have a meeting with Cat Sayre and Keith Hoffnagle from the Ag Society, two of their several new Board Members. That was very productive; we went over a lot of things that are required for the Fair and other events, including insurance, contracts, the terms of conditions. Theyíre really focused on making sure the paperwork is all, you know, on the up and up and transparent and everything is done by the books. That was a really good meeting.

 

HOLZER: Okay

 

DOUGAN: Can I jump in on that? We talked quite a bit about grants. We talked a little bit about the idea you had, that you two discussed with me, outside, a couple of months ago, regarding something near the grandstand thatís for handicapped accessibility and stuff and redoing that. One of the things that I said to them and talking with your Board, regarding the $97,000.00 grant thatís still out there, you know, if you guys could finalize a project that you think you want to do, something like that and bring it to this committee then we could talk about the grant and whether or not the Countyís going to upfront the money for it and that Cat seemed like she was going to work on that, a lot, for you guys. I donít know if that was the case or not, but she didnít really want to lose that money, none of us ever did, but they just couldnít pull things together, but she seem very, very organized and ready to tackle that. So, I just want to make that suggestion to the two of you, since you werenít there, if you could come with a suggested project that this committee could get on board with. Then that, maybe the $97,000.00 is still a possibility.

 

PROVOST: Our biggest concern right now is the fact that we donít have our 501.

DOUGAN: I know.

 

PROVOST: And thatís still a problem, because weíre about to lose our $10,000.00 Covid one on the last day of February, if we donít have that or if the State will give us the money without it. Catís working on that, right now.

 

HOLZER: So, why would they have given you guys money before without a 501, but now itís an issue? Is it because the money was able to go through the County easier, back there?

 

PROVOST: No, we actually had it.

 

HOLZER: Okay

 

PROVOST: We lost it

 

WESTOVER: We lost it in 2018.

 

HOLZER: Okay

 

AQUINO: June of 2021.

 

WESTOVER: Due to inappropriate paperwork being turned in.

 

HOLZER: Okay and who do you have for an attorney helping you?

 

PROVOST: We donít have an attorney. We have an accountant working on it, right now.

 

WESTOVER: We have an accountant working on it and I was on the phone with her, 6:30 this morning and sheís all over it and she know what needs to be done, but itís waiting on the State.

 

HOLZER: So, weíre talking about the Department of State?

 

WESTOVER: Yeah

 

HOLZER: Corporations, I would assume?

 

WESTOVER: The State and IRS.

 

HOLZER: Okay, and IRS?

 

WESTOVER: Yes

 

HOLZER: Well, that might be more of a hinderant. Because if it was just the State some of us might be able to call like the Department of State and see if thereís any way we can expedite it.

 

PROVOST: No, itís the IRS.

 

HOLZER: IRS, forget aboutit. They donít like anyone.

 

PROVOST: well, itís a hot mess.

 

HOLZER: Okay

 

WESTOVER: Stuff still haunting us.

 

PROVOST: Bad

 

MONTY: Is it still part of the investigation?

 

PROVOST: A lot of it is, yes.

 

WESTOVER: So, have you guys ever looked, the 501 that was apparently suspended, could you just form another 501 and kind of have a clean slate starting over?

 

WESTOVER: That Iím not sure of.

 

HOLZER: It might be something you would want to consider.

 

PROVOST: You would have to ask.

 

WESTOVER: She was 100% positive that we will, we were 501c and she is 100% positive that she can get us the 501c3 and the 3, as you know is much better.

 

HOLZER: Okay

 

WESTOVER: So, that is what sheís working on, right now and catching up the back paperwork that was due.

 

HOLZER: Okay

 

PROVOST: But, because of the legalities, maybe we should talk to Jen about if we could start fresh.

 

HOLZER: All Iím thinking is you guys could make one hell of an argument for, because youíre sort of reorganized, restructured. Things that you did in the part youíre not doing going into the future and you might be able to make that case. Youíve got new board members; you got new fiscal policies, things like that.

 

PROVOST: Right

 

HOLZER: Because, obviously, if you donít have that, then the last grant isÖ

 

WESTOVER: She said when she spoke to the State, the State was well aware. They knew everything we were going through.

 

PROVOST: Yeah, but the IRS might now.

 

WESTOVER: And she was hoping that that would have some baring on that and she said it really should have happened by now.

 

HOLZER: All right, Holly was there other stuff that you wanted to finish up on?

 

AQUINO: No, not necessarily. Nothing terribly urgent. The websiteís been updated with all the documents, if anybody need the permit application, step by step instructions, itís all been updated ion the webpage. I am waiting for permit applications, just about everything that is on the calendar, which is typical, but they all know that itís there and itís ready to go.

 

HOLZER: So, I want to give you an opportunity to speak early in the meeting and Holly want to go back to, after weíre wrapping up a conversation about like doing an event out to the fair.Since you missed last couple of meetings, is there anything that you want to talk to our committee about?

 

WESTOVER: Not really. I got a few things. The biggest thing, one of the biggest things I believe is the fiber optic down at the fairgrounds.

 

PROVOST: Yup

 

WESTOVER: Has anybody done anything with that?

 

DOUGAN: The Wi-Fi?

 

WESTOVER: Yeah, the research on it?

 

DOUGAN: Nope

 

WESTOVER: We have spoken to Chazy-Westport.

 

PROVOST: I have the information right here.

 

WESTOVER: Well, Iíll let, sheís got the information.

 

PROVOST: So, if we were to only to have it for six months that would include a one-time activation fee of $299.00 plus the monthly fee.

 

HOLZER: What is the monthly fee?

 

PROVOST: They couldnít give us that, because it will, I guess itÖ

 

AQUINO: It depends on your speed?

 

PROVOST: Yeah and so we didnít know what we wanted, so thatís all they could give us. However, they would waive the installation fee of $299.00 if we signed a 3-year contract.

 

HOLZER: Now, Ken Hughes at the last fair, him and I were walking around the fairgrounds. He had an idea of possibly getting a mini-tower at there. Have you had any further conversation with him on that?

 

PROVOST: Never even spoke to Ken Hughes, but I can.

 

HOLZER: I think you should, because and itís not just an agricultural society issue. I think this goes into Hollyís area, too, that having, you know, internet for anyone thatís using those facilities, I think it is a no brainer.

 

PROVOST: Oh yeah.

 

DOUGAN: Can you share with us, whoíve you have already, maybe even email it to Holly, who youíve already talked with and weíll carry that a little further for all events, not just the Ag Society.

 

WESTOVER: Thatís why we didnít really didnít too much, because you said that you believed it was a County a responsibility.

 

HOLZER: It is

 

DOUGAN: If weíre going to do these other events, and weíre going to try and promote it there, itís bigger than the one week a year. So, yes, I think we should do that.

 

LEE: I donít know if it would be helpful or not, but I know that Laurie has some specific places and things that people needed Wi-Fi for sales during our Harvest Festival. So, she might have a read on like the layout of where booster could be, because of where the food trucks have to go, because of where the electricity is. Itís kind of like a matrix of whatís need where.

 

AQUINO: Yeah, because at the Harvest Festival, you guys did get, the Ag Society did get their Wi-Fi up and running at some point and it was still running during the Harvest Festival and so Hub on the Hill was in the Sugar House and you can get the signal there, but up at the beer tents, they could not and that was closer to the Cornell Building.

 

HOLZER: Whoís the primary supplier for internet services there?

 

WESTOVER: Westelcom.

 

HOLZER: So, thereís not like Spectrum or any option like that?

 

WESTOVER: Westelcom is actually very good. You know they run fiber all the way into Etown.

 

MASCARENAS: Yeah, we have a contract with them. I can have my guy look at it, too.

 

HOLZER: That would be good.

 

MASCARENAS: Hugh is outstanding. If I sent him over, he would be able to troubleshoot it, probably very quickly.

 

HOLZER: getting internet out there and having hotspots close to the food court, Floral Hall.

 

MASCARENAS: Well, if thereís a system where you can put up some kind of tower or multiple that supports all the areas at the fairgrounds.

 

HOLZER: With different events a vendor may want to use Bluetooth capability for entertainment, you know thereís a lot of different reasons.

 

MASCARENAS: Well, even now that new satellite works very well for anybody thatís used it.

 

WESTOVER: Starlink.

 

HOLZER: How expensive is that?

 

WESTOVER: We used that on the fairgrounds, last year.

 

MASCARENAS: Itís not any more expensive thanÖ

 

STANLEY: $599.00 setup, $110.00 a month.

 

MASCARENAS: You own the equipment. The equipmentís yours, but the service is, I got to tell you itís better than fiber. My friends and things that have it, get faster download speeds, upload speeds than I do.

 

HOLZER: So, itís $599.00.

 

MASCARENAS: You own the equipment, you set it up and thereís a one time and thereís a monthly charge, after that, like any other provider. Thereís no contracts, you can end it any time, those types of things. It might be a little easier to turn equipment on, turn equipment off, instead of signing 3-year contacts and those kinds of things, because during the winter, right now, we probably donít have a lot going on; right?

 

PROVOST: Right, right

 

MASCARENAS: So, maybe just activating that on a monthly basis might be, let me get Hugh over there and do an assessment and see what he thinks.

 

WESTOVER: We did use Starlink in the beer tent last year for the DJ and karaoke guy.

 

MASCARENAS: Itís phenomenal; right? Works get; right?

 

WESTOVER: Yeah it was phenomenal. Itís crazy.

 

MASCARENAS; Yeah, I couldnít believe it. If you run HughesNet and Starlink. Starlinkís got it right.

 

AQUINO: So, Starlink is basically satellite?

 

MASCARENAS: It is satellite. It absolutely is, but they control the users which is why I think theyíre having a lot more success than HughesNet. So what HughesNet does, is they have limited satellite, but every one of us in the room can get on it and they promise you the world and they lack space for all those individuals, so they struggle. Starlink doesnít do that. Starlink limits the user. If they donít have space, they donít let you on and they sorry, we just donít have it, until they get another satellite launched or something like that that can support their actual system. So, they seem to have a much better product and have some parameters around control of that product that make it more effective.

 

AQUINO: So, basically itís satellite but it operates just like Wi-Fi, as opposed to cell service.

 

MASCARENAS: Absolutely and itís fast. You can have a phone call, thereís no latency, any of that. It works well.

 

AQUINO: Yeah, I just see the lack of both cell service and Wi-Fi as one of the biggest drawbacks to the fairgrounds in terms of getting newer businesses to participate in things, because there is just no way to do credit sales without that and itís got to be cash only.

 

MASCARENAS: Well even like, Dennie was eluding to, if you have a DJ, music stuff, people donít bring, like in the old days, 400 CDs; right? They have their Apple Music and you want a song and they put that song on and if they canít download it, youíre pretty limited in the amount of entertainment that youíre able to offer.

 

AQUNIO: Even like vendors just trying to access their email and continue to do business while theyíre there. You cannot really do it. You can maybe read an email,but you canít send an email, because the signals are very weak.

 

STANLEY: Most of them use Square, anyways, which needs either cell service or Wi-Fi.

 

MASCARENAS: Let me get Huge over there. I bet I can get him over there this month and have a better answer for you.

 

HOLZER: Good, so well have something at our next monthís meeting. Yeah, cool.

Becky, you had something else?

 

PROVOST: No, weíre working on our stuff for April 29th at this point. The car show, like she said, is the thing that we added to it. So, that would just bring in more people to promote the grounds.

 

HOLZER: And when is the car show, again?

 

PROVOST: The 29th of April.

 

DOUGAN: I wanted to follow up with you. The wall that was in the Egglefield BuildingÖ

 

PROVOST: Yes

 

DOUGAN: Is in where the picnic tables are. Glen had put it aside. He was expecting to see you and it didnít work, so it got it out of the building and itís where the picnic tables are when you want those materials back.

 

PROVOST: Okay, thank you.

 

HOLZER: Holly, did you want to go back to anything?

 

DOUGAN: I would go back to Department of Health.

 

AQUINO: Yes

 

DOUGAN: So, everybody knows, weíve got four of our staff that are going to take that certification course on March 7th. Thatís the course that Scotty Moran always had and somebody from the Ag Society is also signed up to take that.

 

PROVOST: Thereís two of us, Becky Hance and myself.

 

AQUINO: I didnít that information.

 

PROVOST: Iím sorry, because she was getting back to me, but yes.

 

AQUINO: You have to send me your official name, address, telephone number, email, all of that, because I have to give that to the Department of Health.

 

PROVOST: Okay, got it.

 

DOUGAN: So, weíll try and have a little more flexibility than weíve had in the past. You guys will have some people that have attended that course and so will we.

 

HOLZER: So, you have two of your people taking that?

 

DOUGAN: Four of us.

 

HOLZER: Four of you, youíre taking it as well?

 

DOUGAN: Yeah, the buck stops here, doesnít it?

 

HOLZER: Good, good, good.

 

DOUGAN: Not really looking to sign up for more, but the buck stops here. So, Iíve got to keep us certified as people come and go.

 

HOLZER: Do you have anything else, Jim?

 

DOUGAN: No, I did ask Holly to make sure sheís letting you know other things that she is working on for us. You know the household hazardous waste days are an event, so sheís kind of taken that over for me and probably will do a much better job with the posters and those kinds of things than I have in the past, a better eye for those things. She is helping transportation an awful lot. We are down a lot of bus drivers. Our supervising bus driver who does a lot of with schedules and things like that is so busy filling in for other people that sheís doing a lot and additional to that, sheís also making the schedules for buses a little easier to ride. Iím kind of loosely calling the buses a facility; okay? And things and using some marketing on that. So, I just want this group to know that. This may not be the place to report it, but I want you to all know.

 

HOLZER: I think itís important for you to report here, because I think we all have expectations for this position and I want to make sure that the county taxpayers are getting their biggest bang for their buck. So, no I think itís very important that you let us know. That doesnít get me off the, like the specific goals that we have for the fairgrounds.

 

DOUGAN: Understand

 

HOLZER: And that brings me back to the next point, Holly. I really think itís imperative that we pick one event that you streamline and organize on the Countyís behalf. Now, I know you mentioned financial issues in the past. We do, like how would we pay for the band?

 

AQUINO: Itís just a lot of logistical questions.

 

HOLZER: I want to assure you, upon to talking to Mike, here, it sounds like we could get some funding out of occupancy funds that the Countyís going to have.

 

AQUINO: Okay

 

HOLZER: So, I guess I would suggest to you that you come up with, like pick an event to have for consideration for our next committee meeting and along those lines, do a tentative budget. Weíre not going, itís just a tentative budget, and weíre not going to, itís just a tentative budget, but give us an idea of what kind of funds you think you would need as seed money, logistically what we would have to do to do like a county jamboree out there or something. Just one event, Iíve been on this for like a while now, that we need to do like one event out there, ourselves.

 

DOUGAN: So, Holly wasnít here at the last meeting, but I was and so I did attend the FISU games up there and I attended what used to be the Gap Building where they brought in some of the Native Americans to present some things. So, I reached out to a contact. They sound like they might be interested in putting, having some kind of indigenous people or Native American festival there; okay? So, some history, some training, maybe some tribal dances and things like that. Itís a little different. Itís not something weíve seen out there before, but itís the North American Traveling, the Native North American College. Theyíre located, actually in Cornwall, Quebec and they would bring vendors along and things like that. So, that is, and I donít have a lot of information for you right now, but itís a little different than some of the things that weíve talked about before and so that is, I am going to try and run some of that down, Holly is going to try and run some of the that down for me for our next committee meeting, to see if theyíre interested.

 

HOLZER: Thatís different, I kind of like the idea of it.

 

AQUINO: And if you remember, Whiteface, years ago used to do a Native American Festival and that went away and it was kind of sad.

 

HOLZER: It was interesting. I donít think they got the attendance numbers that they had hoped for at Whiteface.

 

DOUGAN: We need to find out what they think they could offer and then what level of making they would do and what level of marketing they would want us to do.

 

HOLZER: Okay

 

DOUGAN: But, Iíve just started some of those conversations and Iím going to hand this off. It was just interested, what I saw at the FISU Games, which they pulled together awfully quickly, is my understanding was interesting.

 

HOLZER: I observed them. Too.

 

DOUGAN: It was interesting and because of the local contact I have and I donít have the lacrosse hat today, Mark, Iím sorry, but theyíll do demonstrations making a traditional lacrosse stick. Theyíll do things like that that might be interesting, just different.

 

MONTY: in collaboration with that a good contact may be, because Fort Ti used to do something with the Native Americans down there, as well and they may want to collaborate, as far as the Native Americans as it relates to the history of Fort Ti and stuff.

 

AQUINO: Yeah, I was, when we were talking about it, I was thinking about contacting Fort Ti. I did go on their website just to see if there was anything that mentioned Native Americans. I didnít find too much, but Iíll certainly be happy to contact them and I was also thinking of maybe contacting the Essex County Historical Society to see if thereís anything in terms of Native American history that they could present, as well.

 

MONTY: I may have the contactís name or the Director.

 

DOUGAN: We do

 

WRIGHT: I have her contact information.

 

HOLZER: So, I love how this is expanding, because it may be a great way to get local historical societies there and I donít know about other communities, but in Wilmington, our Historical Society is very active and they always bring a good dozen volunteers for anything that they work on. So, they maybe another competent of this whole history and you know, festival thing that Jimís bringing up.

 

PROVOST: Yeah, Willsboro has one, itís Mr. Bruno.

 

HOLZER: So, the other thing, Becky, I want to try, even though weíre only a task force here, I want to try and streamline what weíre, so weíre not all over the place. So, if thereís anything that you want to actually have us discuss, maybe the Thursday before our Monday meeting, because normally weíre meeting Monday, get me or Holly the information just so Iím a little bit better prepared. I think I want to go back to the days where we have a little agenda, so Iím not jumping all over the place. Even though I think it has been very productive, today. Iím happy where weíre headed.

 

DOUGAN: Can I jump in?You had said at the last meeting that you had a list of some maintenance things and stuff and the sooner you can get me some of those things the better; okay?

 

PROVOST: Okay

 

DOUGAN: Some things are probably true maintenance, may be other things are improvements. You know maintenance and improvements could be a little different and we might need to plan for them longer. So, if you guys have some needs we would likeÖ

 

PROVOST: I believe most of them you still have already from last year that were just never done. So, it will probably just be a duplicate.

WESTOVER: I see Glenís working there a lot. I see his truck there a lot. Iíve been going to stop in and visit with him.

 

DOUGAN: Heís there other than heís been, other than when we have snowfall events, heís basically been there. Most of his work has been getting sections of fence ready.

 

WESTOVER: Yeah, I see heís got a lot of the fence down and working on it.

 

DOUGAN: Yeah and we just order another 10 gallons of paint. We just ordered some more rough sawn wood to make more fence pickets, more fence sections. So, the little things that he can do in the winter and we are planning a project once the weather breaks a little bit. Although yesterday was great to tackle the leaking flashing on Floral Hall. We did move forward awarding the painting for Floral Hall. All things that you might want to know.

 

HOLZER: Following up on last monthís meeting where we talked about the sign. Have you reached out to anyone in Westport about the codeís issue?

 

DOUGAN: Ike made the comment that their sign ordinance had been passed or whatever. Holly did speak with George, he said it has not. So, we would have to do a submission. So, I was kind of hoping Ike would be here. Maybe he had different information on when that was actually was supposed to be considered by the Board or zoning, Iím not sure.

 

HOLZER: Well, we didnít do an actual submission though, did we?

 

DOUGAN: We did not, because last month, Ike said he thinks it was already done; okay? That is what was said.

 

HOLZER: No, no, I remember. Maybe what we should do, over the next few weeks is put something in writing to them. We put the ball in their court, Jim, and then letís see what happens.

 

DOUGAN: Yup, what I brought last time was just that one, couple pictures, you know something that was roughly this size. If this committee agrees that something of about that size, then I would ask my engineers to clean it up, a little bit, with a bit of Essex County Fair, Essex County Fairgrounds type detail on. So, that I would have something, somewhat realistic to submit to them, without having an actual sign vendor involved yet.

 

Holzer: So, personally Iím okay with that. I just want to see if theyíre going to allow us to do he electric signs.

 

DOUGAN: Understand, itís going to come down to the actual detail that we give them. Iím sure that if theyíve got to take it through a variance, itís going to be, actually want to know how high it is, what size it is. That can be a little bit tough without a vendor already lined up and because of our purchasing here, lining up a vendor.

 

HOLZER: Well, Mike says money is no object.

 

DOUGAN: Well, itís not the money. Itís the Purchasing Agent. So, if youíre okay with that, then Iím going to take this and then make it, take some detail from maybe the Fair sign or the existing sign thatís out there and try to have something with an electronic piece in the middle of it.

 

HOLZER: So, I envision like a sign out there being tied into the way Floral Hall looks or the Ag Building or something like that. So, just kind of keep that in mind when youíre doing some kind of a design, whether itís a small cupola on top of the sign or something like that.

 

DOUGAN: Yup

 

HOLZER: Something that blends in.

 

LEE: Thereís a, Dennie, you might know who did the new welcome to Westport signs, because I think that was someone from Port Henry; right?

 

WESTOVER: Yeah, Willie Grant.

 

MASCARENAS: Yeah, he does signage everywhere.

 

LEE: It might be worth asking.

 

DOUGAN: How do I procure it?

 

MASCARENAS: Thatís an issue.

 

LEE: Okay

 

DOUGAN: Thatís what I was saying, itís not easy to procure; okay?

 

LEE: I think he does designs. You would still build it, if he would design it, I think, but I could be wrong about that. I donít know.

HOLZER: Well, the actual sign that weíre talking about is going to beÖ

 

LEE: It was just a suggestion, like maybe drive by and look at them and see if that could go into the design that picked out, so that it fits in.

 

HOLZER: Where is the sign in Westport?

 

LEE: Thereís one on the way into town on both North and South.

 

HOLZER: Okay

 

LEE: It was just a look and feel thing, not necessarily a vendor thing.

 

HOLZER: Because itís more of like the structure thatís going to go around the electronic sign and the reason we keep going back to the electronic sign is we kind of what to do messages on there.

 

LEE: I agree, I wasnít trying to, it was an and.

 

HOLZER: Do you live in Westport?

 

LEE: I do

 

HOLZER: So, you can advocate for our electronic sign?

 

LEE: I already have. It was an and, not an or. It was like if youíre looking for a little tip to add to make it look like it fits in, maybe he could help. But, if itís not helpful, Iíll retract it.

 

DOUGAN: So, in my mind, Iím thinking of something like the bottom of this, which is a stone look or concrete, brick, something like that with a digital sign somewhere in the middle with over the top of it, something that always says, Essex County Fairgrounds and then over the top of that, a roof that is red that somehow mimics some of the other things.

 

HOLZER: Yeah, yeah, yeah

 

DOUGAN: If youíre okay with something like that, then let me get something on paper, not that Iím a marketing expert here. But, let me work on getting something like that and then we can at least put it out to some vendors for a two-stage process. One is, tell us what something of this size would cost, but first tell us what it be to give us the drawing we need to apply for a variance; okay?

 

HOLZER: Okay

 

DOUGAN: That way itís a two-step process and weíve followed procurement, over there with Linda and all of that.

 

HOLZER: Do we have anything else?

 

WESTOVER: Yes, along, letís continue with the sign. We have a local artist in Westport thatís done all of our, I wish Ike was here, that did all the murals and other art, our bridge and everything else and sheís done all the paintings on the wall at the Ledge Hill Brewery. She wants to redo the sign thatís basically already there, but you guys are going to want that spot for your sign.

 

MASCARENAS: Yes

 

WESTOVER: So, we were going to ask if she wanted to do that sign, which would basically be the same one thatís there, you know, welcome to Essex County Fair. If we could move that to the upper entrance?

 

HOLZER: Would you want to do it at the upper entrance or would you want it down towards the fairgrounds were most the pedestrians walk and then just do a really nice, because this is basically a sheet of plywood; right?

 

WESTOVER: Yeah, itís going to beÖ

 

HOLZER: Weíre going to have the new building on the other entrance, too. Iím not sure thatísÖ

 

WESTOVER: New building on the upper entrance?

 

HOLZER: Well, youíre talking about the upper end towards the school?

 

PROVOST: No

 

WESTOVER: No, it would beÖ

 

PROVOST: Up by the nutrition center.

 

WESTOVER: At the top of the track.

 

HOLZER: I think thereís a place, Iím only one member of this task force and Matt can weight in or whoever else wants to weight in. I think itís important we donít over, to too much signage. The sign that the County, hopefully is going to do, will be the statement that weíre going to be making to anyone thatís never been there before. A sign like this is certainly appropriate, somewhere around that area, because I love the graphics and stuff, but maybe inside where itís, you know, framed and we have like flowers under it and really, almost like a photo opportunity spot that people could take their picture by.

 

PROVOST: So, if weÖ

 

HOLZER: Iím not saying Iím totally right on this, because this is the first time I have been hit with this.

 

PROVOST: Well, no, but, no, we discussed this a little bit last month, because you said to bring it to Ike first, which you did; correct?

 

WESTOVER: No, I have not taken this to Ike. This is just a 4x8 wooden sign.

 

PROVOST: So, we would still that, isÖ

 

WESTOVER: This is really just replacing whatís there.

 

PROVOST: Right

 

WESTOVER: Or weíre just moving it to a new location.

 

DOUGAN: Can I make a suggestion?I was going to bring it to the next Facilities Committee, as weíre looking at the new building I think thereís some opportunity to change the entrance thatís off of Sisco Street to directly on to 9 & 22. I think our sight distances and everything get a little better if we basically, right now, you just come around the corner to turn in, off of Sisco Street. I think Iíll get support from DOT to do that. I think it will make your distances and stuff a little bit better. Which that would affect the signs a little bit here and would actually, potentially, create a little bit of green space along Sisco Street, right on the corner. So, you may be able to have a new electronic sign and if itís alright we you guys I would like to bring you a good sized drawing at the next committee meeting of what Iím concerning; okay? Because Sisco Street entrance has always been a problem.

 

PROVOST: Yes

 

WESTOVER: Youíre talking about the main entrance?

 

PROVOST: Yes

 

WESTOVER: Because thereís two entrances off of Sisco Street.

 

DOUGAN: There is, there is.

 

MASCARENAS: Yes

 

PROVOST: I knew what he was talking about.

 

DOUGAN: Sorry

 

WESTOVER: I thought I knew what you were talking about, too.

 

DOUGAN: Okay, but the main entrance is always, itís so close to Route 9, that itís actually traffic hazard. So, if weíre going to put in a new building and if weíre going to make some of these improvements, try, and get other things there, I think DOT will already support me on it. So, if you guys support me on it and we would just do a part of that, part of that little piece of parking that weíre talking about in front of the existing building, tie all that stuff together.

 

HOLZER: So, if we did something like that and we placed our new sign, where would something like this sign fit into your schematic?

 

DOUGAN: Right now, Iím not sure. I think we could look at the spot up by the nutrition or we could look at this new green space thatís being created on Sisco Street. Iím not sure, but I think we could look at the overall drawing.

 

PROVOST: But, wouldnít that give them too many signs in one spot?

 

DOUGAN: Why donít we just look at the drawing to consider it?

 

PROVOST: Okay, would that change like how we would have fencing, as well, to block people out? If you change where the entrance is going.

 

DOUGAN: Well, right now there isnít really fencing along that stretch.

 

PROVOST: No, itís just a building blocking the whole thing.

 

DOUGAN: Yeah, weíre talking two different things; okay. the Cornell Buildingís still, the existing building is still going to be there.

 

PROVOST: Oh

 

DOUGAN: But, the fencing stops, it doesnít come all the way to the corner of Sisco Street.

 

PROVOST: Right

 

DOUGAN: It stops. Iím talking about the new entrance, being at the end of the fence directly on the end of Route 9 and 22.

 

PROVOST: Oh, okay

 

HOLZER: Letís wait for the drawings to come back.

 

STANLEY: I am just saying that if, one, it might be easier to get something through Westport Zoning or whatever, if you put a new sign there, theyíre going to say, the new sign already looks good enough, why do you guys need electronic? So, by having a crappy looking sign, it may help. Honestly, it maybe a little bit more, hey, youíre making it look better. But, if you do go with a new sign, I mean being on a piece of plywood, you could move that wherever.

 

HOLZER: Well and see that was my point on, because the sign that theyíre showing us, right now, is part of the history of the Fair. I see those graphics on all your press releases, all your posters, so I think that itís important to have that somewhere, but Iím not so sure it needs to be on the actual road. But, we can, Iím open minded about it.

 

AQUINO: I think if we do go with a digital sign, itís probably going to take a little while and I think even after approval itís going to take a while, because of getting parts. The last time we spoke to the sign company, way back when, they were having problems getting the components and it was taking months getting a digital sign even in stock.

 

MASCARENAS: Itís highly unlikely it will be there for 2023.

 

AQUINO: Right, so if we do want to do the existing sign and just redo that, maybe thatís the way to go and then if we do need to move it, you can move it later.

 

HOLZER: What do you guys think about that idea?

 

PROVOST: I think itís a great idea, but I like Mattís idea. Only because, if you can approval from Westport before we get this finished, when this isnít going to matter when we put it up.

 

WESTOVER: We donít really need approval for this one. Weíre just replacing.

 

HOLZER: Well, itís already there.

 

PROVOST: Right

 

AQUINO: But, it may affect their decision on the digital sign.

 

WESTOVER: I think theyíre all good ideas.

 

AQUINO: So, maybe we should try and see if we can get the decision to be a yes on the digital sign and then you can redo that, as well.

 

WESTOVER; Well, she hasnít even started this yet.

 

AQUINO: Right

 

PROVOST: And that wouldnít be up until right before Fair, probably.

 

HOLZER: Okay, because realistically I donít think we have our new sign up before the Fair, anyways.

 

PROVOST: Right, we want that up before.

 

AQUINO: How about actually maybe getting a banner that size to just put over the sign, if we donít get this completed.

 

PROVOST: Well

 

WESTOVER: Weíll see

 

AQUINO: Just a temporary

 

PROVOST: And it can be moved.

 

WESTOVER: It can become portable.

 

PROVOST: Yeah, so thatís not a problem.

 

DOUGAN: I think itís great that weíre even trying to get our recognition out there. That sign does need to be approved, again, like you said, itís plywood. We can put it up and we can move it down.

 

PROVOST: Because what would it be attached to, 4x4?

 

WESTOVER: Sometimes like that. And to go along with the signs, another member of our Fair Board has, she was donating the plywood for this sign and sheís going to donate two pieces of plywood for a sponsorship sign. We really fail when it comes to thanking our sponsors. So, she drew up a sketch and Becky can probably show you the sketch that she drew up, of something rustic, you know wrapped in cedar logs. Where itís going to be two 4x8 sheets of plywood with everyoneís name.

 

DOUGAN: Somewhere in the fairgrounds?

 

WESTOVER: Yup, in the water garden area.

 

PROVOST: The top one is what other fairs have and then the bottom one is more rustic of what we want, like cedar logs and then haveÖ

 

DOUGAN: Can you maybeÖ

 

PROVOST: Send that to you?

 

DOUGAN: Send that and weíll send it to the whole Board.

 

PROVOST: Absolutely

 

WESTOVER: So, the rain garden area, behind the Cornell Cooperative, because everybody parks on the infield, then they walk across the track, right by the Cornell Building, and then they start and go down by the midway. So, that rain garden areaís been kind of an eyesore.

 

DOUGAN: That proposed new building has that area, actually becoming some parking, right there. Not taking into the stage and other things, but so, if this is approved by this committee or the Board then we would want to coordinate with that, as well.

 

WESTOVER: Okay

 

DOUGAN: But, thatís understandable, to me itís understandable.

 

WESTOVER: Somewhere in that area we could get permission to put a sign up thanking, so everybody has to walk by it.

 

DOUGAN: I have no authority to give you permission for anything.

 

HOLZER: Just get the diagram and a written description of what youíre thinking.

 

PROVOST: I can, absolutely.

 

MASCARENAS: One thing weíve got to be careful of, because it is a government owned facility is, during the Fair thatís not an issue. When it becomes a problem is when the Fairís over and we canít support any one group over another. We frequently get complaints about signage and those types of things that remain up from other vendors that are saying, well, you got this sign up all year long and that kind of thing.

 

WESTOVER: Yeah, we know exactly what youíre talking about.

 

PROVOST: Yeah, we know, exactly.

 

WESTOVER: Thatís beenÖ

 

PROVOST: An ongoing issue all the time, but, see if this was a sign that we put up and itís got the cedar logs and everything, thereís no reason why someone couldnít put a banner over it to announce the next event or whatever, as youíre coming in.

 

MASCARENAS: I am just saying as, after the events are over.

 

PROVOST: We know the banner issue with like the grandstands and I am one that usually goes up and the big one I canít get down. But, the ones of the back of the grandstands, I can get those up, the little banners, but the ones that are up high, thatís when you guys got to come with big equipment and come up there.

 

HOLZER: How much do you, the signs and banners that we put up during the fair, how much does your organization reap in profits?

 

PROVOST: Benefits?

 

HOLZER: Yeah

 

PROVOST: One vendor alone, the Gordon Oil one is like a $1,500.00.

 

HOLZER: Okay, so itís substantial.

 

PROVOST: Yeah and then the other banners, only people that donate over $500.00 can leave their banners up all week. Thatís one of our stipulations.

 

HOLZER: Okay, anything else before we wrap up?

 

WESTOVER: Jim, maybe you can answer this question. Does the County have any extra desks? Do you have like a storage of unused office items?

 

DOUGAN: There is some desks that are actually, currently our only real storage area is the old Cornell Building, right now. There are some things in there that have basically been surplused that weíre, really donít have much use for.

 

HOLZER: Do you need a desk?

 

WESTOVER: We were looking to get a desk for our new treasurerís office.

 

HOLZER: What do we have to do to get them a desk?

 

DOUGAN: Letís just see whatís there and what will work for them.

 

HOLZER: And we can just loan it to them.

 

DOUGAN: Unless itís, you know, generally unlessÖ

 

MASCARENAS: Surplus it to them.

 

DOUGAN: Weíll just surplus it to them, unless itís something that came from the Court System that I put over there to get out of the way, which I have to, it still remains their property. I am sure that this is a simple thing to do.

 

HOLZER: Okay, how soon were you looking to get a desk?

 

PROVOST: By Fair time.

 

WESTOVER: When warm weather comes.

 

HOLZER: Weíll definitely make that happen.

 

DOUGAN: If you stop in and see Glen. He can take you in there and you can see whatís in there. Unless the doorís left unlocked, like Ike found it, a week ago.

 

HOLZER: Alright, thank you. Weíre adjourned.

 

 

 

AS THERE WAS NO FURTHER DISCUSSION, THIS FAIRGROUNDS TASK FORCE WAS ADJOURNED AT 9:10 AM.

 

 

 

Respectively Submitted,

 

 

Dina Garvey, Deputy Clerk

Board of Supervisors