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County fair to remain in Ballston Spa

Village, fair officials reach an agreement for growing even

Fair General Manager Jeff Townsend, Ballston Spa Mayor John Romano and Fair President Bill Schwerd reached an agreement for mass gatherings permit at the Dec. 10 Village Board meeting, allowing the village to continue hosting the county fair.

Fair General Manager Jeff Townsend, Ballston Spa Mayor John Romano and Fair President Bill Schwerd reached an agreement for mass gatherings permit at the Dec. 10 Village Board meeting, allowing the village to continue hosting the county fair. Photo by Marci Revette.

— The permit was developed by a committee appointed by Romano that consisted of representatives from the fair, the village, the police and fire departments and two village residents. The committee met four times. According to Romano, each meeting was cordial and productive.

The new permitting process will break events into two categories: those with more than 5,000 people and those with less than 5,000 people. Organizers of larger events will be required to fill out all the necessary information and submit the application not less than 60 days before the event. The village has the option to approve or deny the event, and to revoke the event if it does not meet the requirements. Organizers of smaller events need only notify the village.

Before voting on the resolution to establish the permit application, Romano thanked Saratoga County Fair General Manager Jeff Townsend and Fair President Bill Schwerd for their work.

“Jeff and Bill were great to work with,” said Romano. “It was a very pleasant experience and proves that we can work out our differences. I am thrilled that the fair will stay in the village for many years to come.”

Townsend and Schwerd agreed the outcome was beneficial to everyone.

“We are looking to be an economic driver for the village,” said Townsend.

“It was a process we worked through,” said Schwerd. “We are pleased with the results and we expect to move forward for many years to come.

Schwerd said the frustrations in the past were due in part of the fact that nothing was in writing.

“This permit will rectify that,” he said. “It is good for everybody.”

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