A couple from Essex County attending the 2010 World's Largest Garage Sale transports their purchases down Hudson St. after obtaining the items from vendors situated on private property. Vendors are increasingly choosing to set up on private property rather than in Chamber of Commerce-sponsored spaces due to greater flexibility in display area, the ability to sell for more days than the sanctioned two, and lower charges. This shift has slashed the Chamber's revenue from the colossal event, prompting the town government to more than double the price of their independent vendor permits and to split the proceeds with the Chamber.
With the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce experiencing ever-greater competition from local property owners renting out their yards to vendors during the town’s annual World’s Largest Garage Sale, the town board decided this month to take action to keep the renowned event solvent and well-organized.
The Chamber of Commerce is losing spaces every year and cost of running the Garage Sale is increasing, Chamber officials reported at the town board’s June 11 meeting.
The board responded by raising the rate from $20 to $50 for the Individual Peddlers Permits that vendors situated on private yards must purchase. A portion of the the proceeds from the permits are to go to the Chamber to offset expenses.
These IPP permits are required on Main Street lots where the Chamber pays for garbage collection and for the rental of some of the Port-A-Johns.
Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty said the town will strictly enforce the law that vendors must obtain permits. Hundreds of local residents rent spaces on their property during the sale, and the practice has grown due to the flexibility in the space sizes and because the Chamber doesn’t allow sales to occur on their spaces until Saturday and many vendors are seeking to sell goods to the bargain hunters who annually arrive as early as Wednesday.
Geraghty announced at the meeting that the Town is applying for a Transportation Alternatives grant to continue work on building and improving sidewalks and bicycle routes as well as rehabilitating Main Street and other roadways in town. The Board thanked town employee Patty Monahan for her efforts in writing the grant applications.
Improvements pending for town parks
It was noted the Town received more funding from the state’s Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work & Play program — to purchase benches, trash cans, picnic tables and drinking fountains for the town recreation field off Library Avenue and Marcus Bruce Park. The grant also pays for many directional signs directing visitors to these town amenities. The board thanked Kathy Varney, coordinator of the program on behalf of Glens Falls Hospital, for working with the town staff to obtain the grant.
In other business, the town board:
• approved a resolution supporting the Warren County Planning Department’s grant application to bankroll a new town sewer line down Horicon Ave. (Schroon River Road) from Countryside Adult Home to Main Street.
• heard that construction and rehabilitation of sidewalks along James St. would likely begin this fall. The board discussed the pending work accomplished along Elm, James and Sanford streets as well as Ashe Drive and Woodward Avenue.
• voted to revise the municipal water rate for apartments to $97.50 per year and $1.95 per thousand gallons of water in excess of 20,000 gallons.
• approved an occupancy tax grant of $946.00 to the Warrensburg Historical Society for advertising expenses.
• appointed Danielle Robichaud to the town planning board. Alternates on the board are still being sought. Those interested in serving in the post are urged to call the town supervisor’s office at 623-9511.
• heard that quotes for asbestos and lead abatement for the Floyd Bennett Bandstand were received. Work is to begin on this aspect of the project to rehabilitate the bandstand, the premier town landmark, after approval is received from the state Department of State. The agency awarded a substantial grant toward the project.
• heard that quotes are being sought for sludge removal equipment for the municipal sewer plant. It was noted that the sand filter recently installed at the plant was operating efficiently and second one would be added soon.
• reviewed the success of the Warrensburg Bike Rally held recently at the Warren County Fairgrounds. The Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce and Warrensburg Business Alliance staffed a booth at the rally promoting Warrensburg businesses. Geraghty expressed appreciation to d Zibro for his work in developing and running the motorcycle trade show, which had record attendance.
• passed a resolution supporting a grant application — on behalf of the Warrensburgh Historical Society and Warrensburgh Beautification — for a feasibility study on rehabilitating the town Senior Citizens Building on Main Street. The building needs various repairs and upgrades, and heating it has become prohibitively expensive in recent years. Town leaders have discussed giving the property to one or both the organizations — but by state law, the property would have to be put out for competitive bid and sold at a fair market price.
• approved giving $500 to the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Co. for fireworks at the annual Smoke Eaters’ Jamboree to be held July 25 and 26.
• were informed that $15,000 in state grant funds has been received for studying the possibility of expanding the town sewer system.
• accepted the resignation of Eileen Frasier from the Board of Assessment Review. Geraghty noted that Frasier has been a valued member of the board and will be missed. The town is now seeking applications to fill the post, and applicants are asked to call the town supervisors office at 623-9511.
• heard that the town’s high bid of $25,000 was accepted on a foreclosed residential property at 13 King St. next to the Town Highway Garage. A closing on the transaction is to occur soon. Geraghty said the property would likely be used to improve access to the highway garage.
• adopted a new town procurement policy. Geraghty said a “best value” option would be discussed at next town board meeting, set for July 9.