†Fairgrounds Task Force
Monday, April 17, 2023 - 8:30 am
Roy Holzer - Chairman
Chairman Holzer called this Fairgrounds Task Force to order at 8:30 with the following in attendance: Robin DeLoria, Derek Doty, Roy Holzer, Jim Monty, Matt Stanley, Ike Tyler, Meg Wood, Mark Wright, Jim Dougan, and Mike Mascarenas.
Also Present: Dina Garvey, Holly Aquino, Becky Provost and Laurie Davis.
HOLZER: So, weíll start with you, Holly.
AQUINO: So, the reportís in front of you there with the updated calendar. I was hoping that Aurora would be from the Historical Museum, because we actually did met and if she was going to be here I would actually start with that.
So, if we go to news and activities. So, we had the fairgrounds operator training course. So, several of us are now certified operators, including Becky and myself. Glenn, as well, a couple of DPW guys. I think there are like seven of us that are now actually certified. The good thing that came out of that though was the permit to operate that the County now longer needs a permit to operate, because we are not by definition an agricultural fairgrounds. So, what that means, it doesnít change a whole lot. A couple of things, the fair still needs to get their own permit to operate any of their events which pretty much what they did anyway. But, we donít need our own permit and that means that any event that is not under the umbrella of the Ag Society does not have to do the water sampling before each one and thatís pretty much it. But, we will help, obviously, the fair, you know, weíre the owners the property, we have to do the whole water startup and the sampling for their events. So, that will all be taken care of like normal.
DOUGAN: We plan to do startup on the water later this week with Todd, our licensed PE and Glenn and we will continue to have a chlorine residual analyzer at the front of where the water enters things that Todd will still be looking at online. What this really does is it means that I donít have to have somebody go over in front of every event, even if it was a horse show that had a total of 15 people show up, I† had to have Todd go over, two days before, take a sample and then take another sample and take them all the way the Endine Labs in Plattsburgh. So, Iíve been fighting, I was almost fist to cuff, as you guys can imagine, you know me pretty well, with a guy from DOH on that a few years ago that these events donít require, the donít require it for the horse show in the horse show grounds, because itís not considered an agricultural.
AQUINO: It actually didnít come down to that being the reason, the actual reason was none of the events at the fairgrounds received a premium reimbursement from the Department of Ags and Markets except the fair. So, they have to be the ones to follow the DOH rules under the fairground health code. All the other events, they donít get any premium reimbursement and as the owners of the fairgrounds, the county doesnít receive premium reimbursement. So, by definition it is not an agricultural fairgrounds except for when the Ag Society uses the property for their events.
DOUGAN: So, that was good and at the same time weíve got a bunch of people that are certified now to be that operator if we need them to be, more than weíve ever had. The only person for the Ag Society and the County in the past was Scott Moran and he retired a year ago, so thatís good news.
PROVOST: And Iíve been in contacted with David since our training, so weíre all set.
AQUINO: What we do need to do, though, the County does need to apply for a permit for the campground. That just allows us to rent it out to other people, other groups to use the campground. It doesnít mean that itís open every day of the week. We donít need a person on-site, but it does allow us to rent it out.† So, we have actually gone through that permitting process. The application is in, we just need to give them the water startup form when thatís done.
DOUGAN: Yes, some of the parties that are renting the fairgrounds, like the horse shows, there are a lot of them on this list, because theyíre weekend long horse shows they like to bring a camper or two and so to make sure that weíre all in compliance, weíll have a permit for that. Weíll make those parties responsible as part of the permit that they signed with us for operating the campground properly. We donít have to have anybody full time there to do it.
TYLER: How does the sewer play a part in that with these campers dumping into the sewer system up there?
DOUGAN: As of right now, unless we start to charge something and therefore you start to charge something, thatís something weíll have to look at. I met with Glenn the other day to see if thereís a way we can come up with a lock on that dumping station for example, because people have just come in and out in the past and not even stayed there.
TYLER: Iíve heard other campgrounds say, just go over to the fairgrounds and dump it for free.
MONTY: Itís on a website where itís one of the available dumping stations for people.
TYLER: Just doesnít seem right to me.
HOLZER: I agree
AQUINO: And if anybody knows of a website that it does say that, let me know, because I have not found that anywhere and I have looked, so Iím probably not looking in the right spot, but if you let me know, maybe I can connect the right people to get that off.
HOLZER: So, how would you secure that dumping station?
DOUGAN: I would try and lock it off completely unless there was somebody that scheduled something.
HOLZER: Is it just a pipe out of the ground?
DOUGAN: Thereís a pipe that comes up flush with the ground and has just a cap that comes open. It doesnít even have the ability to put a lock on it. I have to somehow change that cover or make something.
MASCARENAS: Like a box or something.
DOUGAN: Something so I could lock it off.
HOLZER: So, like Ike just said, anyone from that neck of the woods, could just drive in there at any time and just dump?
DOUGAN: Yeah, pretty much.
MONTY: Doesnít have to be from that neck of the woods. I understand, earlier this spring there was a couple from another country in there, dropping on their way, dumping.
STANLEY: Jim, I think I have seen those flush mount things that have a lock on the backside at some campgrounds.
MONTY: I think DEC has those.
HOLZER: Weíll definitely revisit this.
TYLER: Itís definitely an issue, I have a problem with people dumping for free.
DOUGAN: I agree.
TYLER: We should charge at least what everybody else is charging.
AQUINO: Usually itís like $25.00 a dump. I used to work at a campground, so thatís what we used to charge.
DOUGAN: Why donít you, itís going to your sewer. You should tell us what youíd want to make if we can come up with a way to deal with is.
DOUGAN: And if itís exorbitant, maybe nobody will dump there anymore.
AQUINO: The digital sign and I think Jim can speak a little more about that. I did call the Daniel Signs just to get an update on if we are to go forward with this, what it would mean in terms of pricing, just in general and long it would take to get components, but Jim has done a schematic which is in the report.
DOUGAN: The next page is kind of a schematic design of what we would do. I know we talked a little bit about the townís sign ordinance and things like that and so I wanted to at least get some kind of sketch in front of George and see his thought process on that. You know itís really hard to get a bid or get a price from somebody until we know what might or might not work there.
HOLZER: So, whatís the timeline on that, Jim?
DOUGAN: I can, if this group is comfortable with this, Iíll submit it to George and see what other information heís going to need and weíll at least start that kind of a process.† If thereís an approval, you know if we get an approval from the town of Westport then I might do it conditionally that whoever we put out to bid for a sign company, they give us a final rendering to make sure that thereís a final signoff, but if we just pick a sign of the digital signboard and the rest of it is this, at least under our control.
HOLZER: Any committee members feel strongly about just moving ahead on this? I would like to see us to move ahead.
STANLEY: I Think it looks good.
HOLZER: So go ahead, letís get her done.
DOUGAN: Okay, on the next page of the report, there was some discussion about this sign and the existing sign thatís out there and I told you I wanted to at least discuss the concept of changing that entrance that was off of Sisco Street, almost right at the intersection with Route 9 and see if we could make that a little bit straighter in there, I havenít taken this to DOT, yet. I donít know what the committee thinks, but to me it seems a little safer than coming off of Sisco Street.
TYLER: Any thought of even moving it up further?
DOUGAN: The hard part if how close the track is and I know before we talked about something thatís more of, not an everyday entrance, but just when thereís a big event, a gate or something farther up the track so you could move people in and out of a spot, but I think we still need an everyday entrance down this way is my thought process.
HOLZER: What kind of issues do you think youíll run into with DOT?
DOUGAN: Itís so close to Sisco Street, itís not closer than the one thatís there now, but Iím sure theyíre going to send it off to their traffic people in Albany.
MASCARENAS: Storm water and those types of things.
DOUGAN: It will be forcing them to realize that thereís a driveway entrance, pretty much in there right-of-way and in the intersection of Sisco Street and it will be whether this one of better in their eyes or worse, but if youíre comfortable with me at least submitting it to them.
HOLZER: I would like to hear or see what they have to say on it, so move ahead with it.
DOTY: Has George see it?
HOLZER: Not yet, no. I wanted this Committee to let me know what their thoughts were first. As tight as the track is, you can see it on that drawing, it gets really difficult to move anywhere else.
TYLER: I want to add that I had a conversation with Jim about moving it up even further, about to about Ĺ way up the track, because thereís a business across the street that when they have large events could maybe use that to help them and they would be, I think they would be willing to offset the cost of that, too.
HOLZER: Would there be enough room?
TYLER: I mean up further than that? About where the track as a road that goes up the middle of it. Really the trackís only used, other than people walking on it and stuff.
AQUINO: Harness Racing.
TYLER: One day out of the year. †So, itís not a big issue with that.
PROVOST: It would be a huge issue on race day.
TYLER: Demo day?
PROVOST: No, harness racing day.
PROVOST: That would be the only day where I can see where it would be a huge, huge issue.
TYLER: Right, for one day out of the year and it could be used for 364 other days, we could probably work around that somehow.
HOLZER: I would have to look at it, to see what youíre talking about. The only thing is, where we are right now, it just seems more centrally located for the new building, for when people are using those facilities, it give people a little bit of area to be off the main road.
TYLER: Itís still a dangerous spot there, that intersection.
HOLZER: We should, the last couple of years Iíve gone out there, thereís been cars literally in the road with no emergency slowdown, fair in progress or anything like that, so that certainly might be something to visit.
TYLER: I am just adding if the County wants to do something like that, Iím sure the owners of the new enterprise would look kindlyÖ
HOLZER: So, what about a sidewalk in that same area that youíre talking about?
TYLER: Thereís no sidewalk over here and they have a thing.
HOLZER: No, but a compromise to get a sidewalk, so they can still use this general parking area, but have actual, it would spruce up that area quite a bit, too.
TYLER: Sidewalk down the side of the road there?
DOUGAN: You got a sidewalk on the other side of the street.
HOLZER: But, Iím thinking on the fairgrounds side.
DOUGAN: If youíre willing to take a walk out there, thereís Route 9N actually sits above the track, quite a bit. Weíve looked at and weíve talked about the same spot that Ike it talking before and it was a pretty good slope going in and out, because thereís not much horizontal space, but quite a bit vertical transition and to keep the track the same elevation which youíre going to need to do and I donít know with the bit of ditching thatís down there here if we can get a sidewalk in or not, but you know we can look at it.
HOLZER: Maybe Iíll make a trip down there next week.
DOUGAN: And I did some preliminary grading on that, if I can find it, Iíll bring it to the next committee.
MONTY: What about a compromise to the fact if you put, where youíre talking about, putting it down by Sisco street, allow the parking up there, but we build a walkway with a crosswalk across the road there. They still park there, theyíre going to have to walk across the road anyway. We put a walkway put to the road and a crosswalk there. That would be serving the Countyís purpose with the entrance down by Sisco and allows those people to park in there and walk across the road.
STANLEY: That was going to be the same comment that I was going to have.
MONTY: Youíre going to have to walk across the road anyway.
DOUGAN: I think the other thing and I think thatís probably a good compromise and easier engineering think without raising the track to meet this other grade. The other thing I have to talk about it what is overflow parking and when are going to allow it? Is this just open to anybody at all times? Or are we just serving this one business? Not to play attorney, but I think itís all stuff youíre going to have to bring pass Mr. Manning, as well.
TYLER: Seems to me that thereís been a lot of parking going on there now.
DOUGAN: I donít disagree, but it all depends onÖ
TYLER: You get any money from those trucks for parking there? You should they give money to other places.
DOUGAN: Youíre talking the tree trucks there?
MASCARENAS: Did they even get permission?
DOUGAN: They did, they came in and took care of one big tree that we had on the grounds.
HOLZER: It was a barter thing?
DOUGAN: I think theyíve been there longer than we ever thought they were going to be.
HOLZER: I donít have anything further to say, Iíve got to physically go look at it.
TYLER: Thereís a planning board meeting this week and one of the problems with the new business going in there is parking for large events and Iíll just let them know that the Countyís looking at possibly, maybe making a walkway or something.
MONTY: Maybe they could quantify what a large event is.
PROVOST: Are you talking about the hotel?
TYLER: No, I am talking about the other place. The old mill.
AQUINO: So, the next page is, again this is probably mostly Jim here, talking about wiring the grounds.
HOLZER: No, jump back up, the history event.
AQUINO: Oh, the history event, Iím sorry. I did meet with Aurora from the Historical Society to get her feelings on doing an event. They do have a packed calendar every year, so trying to find a good date. It would definitely have to be next year for sure and itís kind of a thing where, you know they would definitely attend an event like that,† but how involved they would be, theyíre not sure in the actual creation of the event itself. Itís just because theyíre so packed so right. We did come up with a list of people that we can talk to and we have some ideas. We also have a lot of questions and I think if we do want to move forward with this, we probably need to get a group of people who are willing to sit down and flush out the ideas and how this would go down.
HOLZER: Gotcha, so if the history event isnít going to be a reality this year, what can you put together as far as an event this year? Either a Halloween event or something?
AQUINO: Well, actually the Ag Society was thinking about doing that themselves, because last year they did a trunk or treat, which went down really well and so they have grander ideas for this year.
HOLZER: Okay, the only thing is, like Iíve said all along is I want to see us come up with an event that we do start to finish. I donít want to rely on the Ag Society, I donít want to rely on Historical Society, I want it to be totally in-house. We have some funds, Iím told that we could use as seed money from the occupancy funds; right?
MASCARENAS: Absolutely, at least $135,000.00 that were going to get directly from that, for the County.
HOLZER: So, letís brainstorm for next meeting. It doesnít have to be grand, I just want us to do with volunteers and you leading it, some kind of event, start to finish.
AQUINO: For this year?
HOLZER: And it can be towards the fall at this point.
HOLZER: Because it was impression that the history event was going to happen this year and now that weíre kicking that down the road, I want to see us do something.
AQUINO: We started out with the Native Americans and again, itís something they said, we would be happy to attend an event, but theyíre not going to be helping put the event together. History Museum, you know, again, theyíre all for it, but theyíre not going to be involved in actually putting it together. So, if we can get together a group of people who, first of all, any event, we need a group of people, you know, to really get behind it and talk about it and how this is going to go down, we have to start now.
MONTY: We have to find a specific event we want to do and gather those people. We canít just keep to generalities. I bet if you got a hold of Fort Ti, you know they would collaborate with a historical thing, because thereís a lot of history involving Lake Champlain that goes up and down that included Fort Ti. Iím quite sure if we just need to take an event and just start hammering away at it.
DOUGAN: Thatís kind of where we were going, even with the historical one, was actually putting the Native Americans and our Historical Society and some of those things together.
HOLZER: Itís a great idea.
DOUGAN: We thought they would fit and so, yeah, we are running into some obstacles, but I agree.† You made it very clear what you want, this year to have some kind of event.
HOLZER: And I donít even care if itís like a flea market in October or November, where you just sell tables and say, you all come, itís Essex County wide. I just want us to do an event from start to finish. It doesnít even have to be grand or hug. I think itís important that we do it for one event ourselves, out there.
MONTY: To go back to historical, I think we have enough partners, you canít just go to one partner and say, what can you do to help us to do this? We need to say, okay, weíre going to have this meeting, letís get these partners together and say, this is what weíd like to do. How can we bring it together? They would have the expertise on what theyíre bringing. Your expertise is going to how to make it cohesive.
AQUINO: The logistics.
MONTY: Into one event.
AQUINO: Thatís how we started with the historical museum and itís just that their calendar is already set for the year, so to add something this year was a little bit difficult for them.
MONTY: They might not be there themselves, but they may be able to contribute something.
PROVOST: And every town has an historical society.
DOUGAN: So, I think, in all honestly weíre not going to stop the historical society thing, weíre not going to stop that event, but I think right now weíre putting that one as a 2024 event instead of a 2023. We made it clear you want something in 2023, so thatís what weíre going to have to find something else to do.
TYLER: You can also consider a hunting and fishing event, because those are very well attended and I know of some families, like the Salernos would probably be there to help out with that. Hunting and Fishing is very big in the area.
AQUINO: and what kind of activities would go on that kind of event?
TYLER: People would come and teach people the different tracks in the woods that are running.
MONTY: Guide service, fishing techniques.
TYLER: Fishing services, guns, hunting. The Salernos, they have all these deer heads they bring,† they go to these sport shows all over the North Country.
MASCARENAS: You get different food vendors that prepare venison a certain way, jerkies, those types of things, typically, similar with fish. The Champlain Valley Exposition does a real good one.
PROVOST: They have guides that come in.
MASCARENAS: They charge like $20.00 or something like that it get through the door and itís mobbed.
MONTY: Archery tents.
AQUINO: So, maybe like an outdoors expo.
HOLZER: Whatever, I again, what to see something. That is actually a good idea. I was thinking of everything from a music fest to the flea market thing.
AQUINO: A flea market thing would probably be the easiest thing to put together.
HOLZER: It doesnít have to be over the top.
AQUINO: Well, what does the committee what to do, because again, if we do a hunting/fishing outdoors event, I mean I definitely need a little bit† of help, because Iím not the biggest hunter or fisher woman.
TYLER: Contact the people who do it. The expo, I am sure that they have people that do it every year.
MONTY: Northeastern Wildlife exposition.
HOLZER: How active is the Essex County Fish and Game Club? They used to be really active.
HOLZER: Theyíre not anymore?
DOUGAN: They wonít even give us a key.
PROVOST: And Iíve been asking for it, too. Because George Tefoe was the President of the League and he actually contacted me this past week and they, very limited, they wanted the Fair Board Members to help the roof on the lean-to down to the grounds and whatnot, when we raised the money and asked them to take care of that.
HOLZER: So, we were just talking about a portable fish tank?
DOUGAN: Yeah, we can, if you have an outdoor event, we can have the fish hatchery there and we can do some of those things.
TYLER: You can actually have a band come for that, have some music for that and some vendors, food vendors.
AQUINO: So, I do have a lot of questions, if we do go this route. Just questions in terms of logistics and how things are done. Are we going to pay people to attend and how will all that work. Are we charge money for the vendors attend or no or is there going to be admission to the general public?
HOLZER: For the first one, I donít think we should charge admission and maybe we should get together, draw up a draft plan and then weíll see how much money weíre going to ask the Board to front for us.
DOUGAN: If weíre going to have entertainment my suggest is you pay something towards entertainment and then you let everybody else be around, vendors and people who might be trying to sell stuff or anything like that. But if theyíre just educational, not trying to sell something or make money then we wonít.
HOLZER: Itís more the activity.
MONTY: If you go to Yankee Sportsman Classic that will give you vendor information and the groups that have spoke there.
AQUINO: Are these like nearby people?
MONTY: Theyíre from all over.
MASCARENAS: But, the Salernoís from Moriah frequently attend.
AQUINO: So, if I can have a little bit of input.
DOUGAN: Letís start with the local, who have attended events from other areas and see if they want one in their own hometown.
TYLER: I know the Salernoís have approached me about the fairgrounds for a number of years.
MASCARENAS: They would probably do a lot of legwork for you.
HOLZER: So, Becky, I have seeing in the last week there was emails going back and forth.
PROVOST: Weíve agreed that we should probably do a walkthrough to find out what repairs are actually needed. Some of the things that are on the original list were wants, right? But, there are somethings that actually need to be addressed to be repaired. On that note of the end of the barn, if we can tear that building down thatís falling in at the end of that barn. Do you know what Iím talking about.
DOUGAN: Thatís part of the Ag and Youth Center plan is to tear those two appendages off of that barn, are already part of that.
PROVOST: We like the part thatís wrapped around that tree, because thatís where we exhibit things. 4-H will put in their vegetables and things, so that we like. Itís that end building thatís falling in, caving in, thatís a hazard that we would like removed if possible. Our other biggest thing that we wanted in the Wi-Fi and I donít know where we got with that.
HOLZER: The meeting I attended of the Ag Society, two months ago, I was told that the non-for-profit, the individual that you have assigned there was going to get me the paperwork. Where do we stand with New York State Ags and Markets with your non-for-profit status and I havenít heard anything. I wrote an email, I never got a response.
PROVOST: Oh god, are you talking about the 501 and the grant?
HOLZER: You know were basically talking about over $200,000.00.
PROVOST: Oh yeah, this is, so this is where weíre at with that. So, we lost our EIN. So, we are trying to get that back, so Jen and I donít remember her last name, she is the accountant that has been working on this and has gotten nowhere. I mean sheís called the IRS, sheís called the State. The State actually said they would hold our $10,000.00 apparently, until we get that back, but theyíre not going to wait forever.
HOLZER: So, youíre talking about the COVID relief funds?
HOLZER: Iím talking about the $200,000.00
PROVOST: We canít do anything with that without our EIN and our 501 status. We canít do anything and thatís what weíre working on.
HOLZER: So are you starting over?
PROVOST: They suggest that we do not start over and theyíre actually going to wash away that 2015, 2016, 2017 nonsense. Theyíre just going to kind of, donít worry about that and focus on the closer stuff, which apparently is all in now, but thatís as far, thatís all that we have found out since our last meeting.
MASCARENAS: So, itís Feds?
HOLZER: But, see the State Ags and Markets wonít deal with the County. I want to make it clear that itís not on us.
PROVOST: So, we have to have our status back before we can go any further and thatís even with the Covid Relief Funds. We canít do anything without those numbers or our status. So, Jen has been working very diligently, even though tax season trying to get this all figured out. Sheís been on the phone numerous of times with the IRS, with the State, everybody, itís not that simple and they did tell her, do not start over.
TYLER: Can you contact Jen and tell her to send the information to me in an email, and Iíll contact Elise and see if she can do something on a federal level, because youíre not going to do anything.
MASCARENAS: That is what I was going to suggest.
HOLZER: Well there needs to be follow through, because you were at that same meeting, two months ago and I left† with the impression that the next day, your person was going to get a hold of me with an email and just give us the status. I understand everything you guys are going against, but thereís no way that people like Ike and I or Jim can helpÖ
PROVOST: Can help if you donít have the information.
PROVOST: And Iím not sure, was our treasurer supposed to get a hold of you or Denny?
HOLZER: I wrote her name down andÖ
TYLER: I think it was Jen.
HOLZER: I believe so, it wasnít Denny, it was Jen.
PROVOST: Okay, so Jen is the one thatís working on it and I want to say that sheís out of Vermont. But, Iíll get you all the information and Iíll have Jen email you everything sheís got and cc Roy.
HOLZER: So, we have a paper trail and we can try and have some kind of history of whatís going on.
TYLER: And we can find out exactly she has done and what she hasnít done.
PROVOST: I donít even know, I have never actually spoken in Jen. Iíve emailed her all of the financials from 2022, so that she could do all of our paperwork.
HOLZER: So, hereís the thing, you guys are a contract agency with the County and so for us to even get this involved, really for any other organization we wouldnít do, but I just want it clear that itís nothing on the County level that we dropped the ball on.
PROVOST: I agree
HOLZER: Just because I know how these things.
PROVOST: And thereís grant money out there sitting for us to be using for the grounds and what have you and itís just sitting there because we lost all of statuses and that is.
HOLZER: I certainly donít mind making calls and if† you donít mind, it would be a one-two punch.
HOLZER: There was one other item, you said you resolved the list of things to do. So, I guess we can go back to the internet then.
PROVOST: The internet was our other biggest thing. The one that we have there now, doesnít work, at all. I mean it will work for like 5 minutes, but then as soon as bunch of people start jumping on it, itís done and itís not like I can keep resetting it. And the more people you give the password and then the other problem is it wonít work up where our new office is. So, that would be an issue as well.
HOLZER: So, how do we resolve that. Because it actually makes sense that we would want to have better internet.
MASCARENAS: Hugh is amazing and thanks for putting this is the report, Jim, I appreciate it, whoever put it in. Huge went out and the map you see is where he would be able to give you coverage. Itís not Jimís Hugh, itís IT Hugh. Thereís two Hughs and theyíre both excellent. So, the map is a little easier to look at in terms of where that coverage would be based on the pricing that he put together on the page before. Thatís just for equipment that doesnít include what weíre going to pay to be active and how long weíre going to be active and all of that. So, from the Countyís standpoint, I can absolutely see where the Ag Society would want this. Itís a $10,000.00 investment in equipment for the County.
PROVOST: Is this up in the, what used to be Scottís building, is that there this is?
MASCARENAS: This is Nutrition.
So, he has some anchor locations, you can see in order to get the Wi-Fi in these different locations.
HOLZER: So, if it costs $10,000.00 to upgrade that area, what are looking at in monthly fees?
MASCARENAS: That I donít know.
HOLZER: You should probably have that as part of the whole conversation.
MASCARENAS: Thatís an important thing and even that, are people not using the fairgrounds because, I understand that itís important to the Ag Society.
PROVOST: And itís not even just us.
AQUINO: Adirondack Harvest also has a big problem, because their vendors canít do venmo or credit card transactions, so it is a deterrent, because everybody starts using, youíre going to have to have an event that says itís cash only here at this location.
MASCARENAS: My concerns is at any of these events is we donít get anything. So, for us to keep putting money and put money in and we donít charge anybody to use the facility, we donít do any of that, so everything us is a cost at this point.
HOLZER: For this proposal though, could like we, instead of spending $10,000.00 at first could be do it in steps, do the area that we feel is the most important for the Wi-Fi hotspots and then go as we can afford it and see more events going on out there?
MONTY: So, do we need to have 24/7/365 or just on event dates? Because realistically if you have Wi-Fi that good, I can picture 15-20 locations that arenít involved with the fairgrounds that are going to gather the password.
MASCARENAS: I think weíve got to control that, if weíre going to run it. We canít have people on our networks, open, constantly.
HOLZER: Whoís the carrier out there, Mike?
MASCARENAS: I donít know, I think thereís quite a few that run through there.
MONTY: I would imagine itís Chazy-Westport.
MASCARENAS: Yeah, itís probably Westlecom.
MONTY: Nope, Chazy-Westport.
MASCARENAS: Yes, they changed.
HOLZER: Because during the University Games, Verizon has these portable trailers that had mini towers and Iím not saying that this is a possibility, but we should at least see, okay for the bigger events, how much would it cost to rent these portable boosters for a week event or something just to seem, before we spend a ton on money. Iím not so sure that the events out there, yet, justify, I would have to see what the monthly fee would be out there.
PROVOST: And if we were able to help with the monthly fee, because weíre already paying it now.
HOLZER: How much are you paying right now?
PROVOST: That I canít tell you, because itís wrapped into our phone bill, too. Itís all in one. So, we already pay for the Wi-Fi with our phone bill.
MASCARENAS: So, youíre paying for a hardline.
AQUINO: Youíre paying for one router.
PROVOST: Right, which is in Floral Hall.
MONTY: Less than a $100.00 a month. Probably the same as what I have, which is $79.00 a month.
MASCARENAS: Some of it is that reach. So, weíre not giving you a better fiber, weíre just giving you pretty transmission to get to those locations. So, weíre using the same internet that you already got coming in, likely. That service is what it is, your router stinks, number one.
PROVOST: I know, we changed it out twice already.
AQUINO: You know doing the Adirondack Harvest Festival, it was working and we got on it and sugarhouse could get in it, but that was it. So, Floral Hall and Sugarhouse.
MASCARENAS: Theyíre very limited in the reach, thatís what this improves is the access.
PROVOST: So, I know Dennie got a fiber optic quote of some sort, Iím going to have him email it to you guys.
MASCARENAS: We have hard† lines on each end and maybe somewhere in the middle.
DOUGAN: There might be a bit of a hard line, but itís not fiber, that goes to Floral Hall.
DAVIS: Fiber as far as the old CCE Building.
DOUGAN: But, I donít think it comes into Floral Hall.
AQUINO: And one thing to keep in mind, a new digital sign is going to require Wi-Fi to change the messaging in it. Itís either cellular or Wi-Fi, but cellular is very weak there. So, it does need Wi-Fi.
PROVOST: If they were able to do fiber optic through the grounds, wouldnít that cover your sign, as well.
HOLZER: Depending on what the cost is.
STANLEY: So, youíre not going to do fiber through the grounds, youíre doing to do fiber either to nutrition building or the CCE building and then everything else can be wireless. This whole place is wireless.
STANLEY: Then it depends on the bandwidth that coming to those locations.
STANLEY: So, if you get one, and the more that you pay for the plan, the more bandwidth youíre going to get.† You can buy businesses plans that go from like 5G all the way to several hundred.
MASCARENAS: To go hardwire, this cost probably triples.
STANLEY: Oh, yes and the cost youíre asking, can you start somewhere and more forward is the $3,000.00 cost that is in this is actually the thing to spread it different locations. So, thereís 16 of those access points, at $200.00 a piece, you can start by making it go from the nutrition building to Floral Hall and to the CCE building and not have as many other things. Thatís where the cost can be cut.
MASCARENAS: But, you could control the access.
PROVOST: Isnít there a way to change the password for each event?
STANLEY: Yeah, you should change the password for every event.
PROVOST: That will detour other people from just using it freely.
MASCARENAS: Let me get you a cost on the monthly fee. I am guessing the monthly fee isnít going to change unless like Mr. Stanley said, unless you upgrade your service plan into what youíve got coming in.
HOLZER: So, what is, not to put you on the spot, what is your thoughts on what Matt just said about starting with the access point? Would that make that system they have out there better?
MASCARENAS: I would like it should, if you concentrated it into one area. Where do you normally have all of your vendors?
HOLZER: And this is where is starts to get muddy, too. Is should we be using the Ag Societyís internet for something thatís going to the whole grounds for other events?
MASCARENAS: Probably not, I wouldnít want just anyone riding on our systems.
PROVOST: Well, we were aware of that when we signed up to begin with. We know the Harvest Festival and other things were going to be using it. Itís so minimal.
MASCARENAS: If you were to look at this map, where do vendors?
PROVOST: It would all be Floral HallÖ
AQUINO: All the way up to the grandstand.
PROVOST: Yeah, because our business office is by the old firehouse.
MASCARENAS: So, if I were to draw a line, right there, basically where that track intersects, I could probably get rid of all those access points above it?
PROVOST: Yup, from here up?
MASCARENAS: Which would probably, maybe not cut your cost in half, but might get you down to $6,000.00 or so for install, which is a little easier.
DOUGAN: Letís investigate the wire that at least goes to Floral Hall, right now. The reason I believe that your internet is off of Floral Hall is because when that was renovated around 2000, they put a fire alarm system in it, which needed a hard phone line and I think youíre running off just that same old, single pair, hard phone line DSL is all you got that. So, I donít, unless you can grab fiber thatís over at the existing CCE building or nutrition, I donít think itís going to get better in the Floral Hall area. Weíll pose those questions to IT Hugh and get you some numbers on it, but weíre a lot closer to understanding than we were a month ago.
PROVOST: I have one more thing before we go further about electrical stuff. So, we had to do a repair program project for Sire Stakes that we get reimbursed for. We have decided that we are going to upgrade the whole sound system. Like the announcers up at the main stage and down in our office where we make announcements, because people canít hear from one end to the other. So, we got our quotes and all that other nice stuff to submit to the State for Sire Stakes Repair Program.
HOLZER: Now is that going to be hard wired or some sort of wireless?
PROVOST: Nope, hard wired. Itís basically, itís already, everythingís already there. They just have to rerun new wire. Weíre going to use the existing speakers that are already there and reposition them after theyíre rewired with the new wiring or whatever to upgrade it.
AQUINO: Currently, I think the PA system is only used for the fair. We never tell other groups that thereís a PA system, because itís, the equipment is in your office and everything like that.
PROVOST: But, if per se you wanted to, I donít see where it would be a big deal. I mean itís not like I canít, right now itís set up in the little shed, as you guys call it.
AQUINO: You donít want strangers going in there.
PROVOST: Why, thereís nothing in there. Other than that, really we donít, we have our new business office, now. So, really if somebody wanted to use the PA system for another event we could probably open the door for them and let them use it.
HOLZER: Well, that would be an arrangement you guys would make.
STANLEY: Is that PA system all overhead wire?
PROVOST: I believe so, yes.
STANLEY: So, if youíre doing this upgrade of the Wi-Fi for the whole fairgrounds, to me it almost seems smarter to go wireless so that it all works together and you donít have the wire.
PROVOST: Even with the sound system, you mean?
HOLZER: The thing, logistically Iím not sure the wireless capability for everything weíre looking at would be done in a timely manner for what they need to spend that money.
MASCARENAS: Well, that wireless is more of a Bluetooth technology, not necessarily an internet driven technology. So, itís more likely your speaker, if you think of that, that you hook up at your home.
STANLEY: But, I think they have they that they can connect to Wi-Fi.
MASCARENAS: They do, but that would almost be independent in terms of how that works.
STANLEY: But, they can connect to a network that is already at the fairgrounds I think it would be killing two birds with one stone.
DAVIS: I think you might have been talking about the same building that Jessica sent me a text, as I was driving over, and said, I was hoping to talk to Jim and Holly about the section of the dairy barn that I was hoping would get fixed before the fair, because Iíll have kids in there. Is that the part that youíre talking about?
PROVOST: Yup, so 4-H now is going to move, instead of being in Floral Hall, theyíre going to be in that cattle barn. All their exhibits, everything will be in the cattle barn. So, it will used, basically the same way CCE was used for their displays, theyíre going to use the cattle barn for that. Thatís why Jess was hoping that that hole will get fixed at the hope.
DOUGAN: Letís see if we can do a walk through in the very near future.
DAVIS: She was actually going to meet you there. She thought you were going to meet there today and was going to meet you down there. She would like to talk about that and then the part you were talking about with the tree growing in it. I think thatís coming down? Yeah, I mean the rest of the barn canít because itís protected?
DOUGAN: We believe the rest of it is historical. And I am concerned about the building that you say your PA system is in, because I think thatís coming down in the plan as well.
PROVOST: Our building is? Oh
DOUGAN: I think so.
PROVOST: I didnít know that.
MASCARENAS: Oh, your PA systemís not in your new office, itís in the old one?
PROVOST: Itís in the old one up by CCE.
MASCARENAS: Oh, yeah, thatís coming down.
AQUINO: Does it have to be up there, can it be moved to the new office?
PROVOST: Didnít know that, so I guess I should probably tell our board that, uh?
STANLEY: Well, the wire has two ends. You just move the PA system to the other end.
PROVOST: But, thatís going to change things as farÖ
MASCARENAS: Itís going to change your cost.
PROVOST: Yeah, so Dennie will have to get with the guy whoís doing the PA systems and revamp that before we submit it to Shire Stakes. That makes a big difference, Iím glad you guys told me that, because that will make a difference.
HOLZER: †So, does anyone have anything else before we wrap up?
AQUINO: You wanted to talk about rental fees for your events.
PROVOST: Oh, yes, remember that was on my list, because we had brought it up at this meeting before, about, because we are promoting the grounds, are we still obligated to pay the rental fee for every event?
HOLZER: What is your rental fee? For every event or just the fair?
AQUINO: Well, they donít pay anything for the fair.
PROVOST: No, itís like our craft fair, car show, swap meet that weíre going to have and in October we do that Halloween thing.
HOLZER: So, I did see that. I think the first thing youíre going to have to do is run that by Dan Manning to see if itís even an option, because normally there has to be either a written agreement signed by both parties.
AQUINO: There is, thatís the permit application and then how much the fee is, if itís zero or if itís something. We had said for the craft show, because theyíre using the whole grounds, last year they paid $100.00 for Floral Hall, this year, because theyíre using a lot more space, we said $200.00, but she would like to talk about not paying anything.
PROVOST: Well, we had talked about that before, but you were on vacation, I believe, the meeting we talked about it and then we didnít go anywhere else with it.
AQUINO: Well, thatís up to the committee to make that decision.
MASCARENAS: I do think there was a Board resolution a few years back that talked about no charges for events that werenít earning income and/or were providing a service for the youth. I think there was something around that.
AQUINO: I believe so, yes.
GARVEY: There was, it was for youth.
MASCARENAS: Thanks, Dina
GARVEY: Youíre welcome, it was specifically for youth.
HOLZER: Let me ponder it a little bit more. I donít think itís a big deal, I mean $200.00
HOLZER: I feel better if you had all this grant money coming back.
PROVOST: I am going to go do that as soon as I get out of here. I am going to get you guys the information from Jen, ASAP, thatís the biggest thing.
HOLZER: Weíre adjourned
AS THERE WAS NO FURTHER DISCUSSION, THIS FAIRGROUNDS TASK FORCE WAS ADJOURNED AT 9:24 AM.
Dina Garvey, Deputy Clerk
Board of Supervisors