Tupper Lake Police Chief Tom fee speaks during a village board meeting.
At the Tupper Lake Village Board meeting on Feb. 21, the board voted to contribute $15,000 toward the annual salary of an Events Coordinator for the town and village governments and the chamber of commerce.
Faith Bedore has been selected for the position, which is administered by the chamber. The town and village are contributing $15,000 apiece towards Bedore’s salary, and the chamber is contributing $5,000. She is employed as an independent contractor.
Later in the meeting, the board approved using the municipal park for this summer’s Woodsmen’s Days (July 14 and 15), the 30th annual Tinman Triathlon (June 30), a new Chamber-sponsored event called Tupperpolooza (Aug. 4), the annual Lions Club carnival, and Mt. Arab Masonic Lodge’s flea market (Aug. 17).
Reached by phone after the meeting, Bedore said that other upcoming community events include the Relay for Life (June 9); BuzzFest (July 4) and FlavorFest (Aug. 16) and Roy Hurd (Sept. 21) at the Wild Center; the Lumberjack Regatta (Aug. 25); and the Archery Shoot (July 21).
“We have a lot going on,” said Bedore, Tupper Lake native and small business owner. “It’s a wonderful time to be from Tupper Lake. After the ACR decision, there’s a lot of optimism here. There are building permits on the windows of the buildings – when you walk around town you hear hammering up and down the street. I don’t remember it ever being like that in my adult life. New businesses are coming into town and there’s a lot of outside interest in the community. People are calling us to compliment Tupper Lake.
“I look at the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival – that is a phenomenal event. That’s a model Tupper Lake can follow,” Bedore said. “Look at Long Lake – they put on bed races, fishing derbies, trivia nights at their hotels. These small towns have these models that are working. We just needed someone to step into this role and start planning these things for Tupper Lake. We want to keep Tupper Lake busy all the time. We’re focusing on making the Chamber’s website (tupper-lake.com) a clearinghouse for information about existing events. People can sign up on the website for a bimonthly newsletter about events in town. I’m trying to help other organizations – not trying to run their events. We want to be involved with advertising events and getting more people to participate.”
Board members noted that the village will receive a grant equal to the funding allocated for Bedore’s position due to a New York State program.
The annual Woodmen’s Days soiree, perhaps Tupper’s best known event, was among the handful of items to generate significant discussion at February’s Village Board meeting. Board member Charles Perham said, “Our biggest issue with Woodsmen’s is security. If we don’t have security, we don’t get revenue from the gate. We had an excellent year last year, but I don’t think we got the revenue in to keep ourselves afloat, because every Tom, Dick and Harry could walk in. We don’t have enough people watching [the entrances].”
When asked about last summer’s event, Village Police Chief Thomas Fee responded, “There were no problems from my perspective, but if there’s going to be a beer tent, I think the village needs to look into contacting our counsel, looking at our open container law, and enforcing that the only beer or wine in the park is brought in by the vendor. The vendor is spending a lot of money for a liquor license and insurance and what it boiled down to [last summer] was the vendor was providing a place for everybody to drink.”
In other village business, Village Clerk Mary Casagrain told the board that Verizon Wireless wants to lease 24 Fuller Ave. and 274 Park Street to construct cell tower facilities. The lease is expected to generate more than $3,000 monthly for village coffers.