Schenectady County

Scotia to create events committee

Scotia is launching a new special events committee because Mayor Kris Kastberg said there is not muc

Scotia is launching a new special events committee because Mayor Kris Kastberg said there is not much coordination of all the different activities around the village.

The Scotia Business Improvement District for years had organized Crusin’ on the Avenue and Holiday on the Avenue. However, it abruptly decided not to hold the holiday event last year.

“All of a sudden, without any input from the Board of Trustees or the village government, events are started or canceled,” Kastberg said.

In addition, the mayor said the village needs to keep track of what is being scheduled. Many of these events, such as the July 4 fireworks display, require the village to bring on extra police officers and firefighters to shut down roads, reroute traffic or assist with problems at the event itself.

“These events all cost the village something,” Kastberg said.

He said the idea would be to bring together these groups that want to put on events to make sure it is done in a more organized manner. The committee would coordinate and raise money to put on the events, according to Kastberg.

“The village has no intention of raising taxes to fund all of these,” he said.

Another issue is that vendors wait until the last minute to get permits to do business at the events, Kastberg said.

The committee would interact with the Board of Trustees, which would have to approve anyone that wants a new event.

“We constantly have groups like the BID saying, ‘Let’s do a villagewide craft fair next spring,’ ” he said.

Trustee Tom Neals said he supports the idea. “I think anything we’ve got a financial stake in, that’s going to cost us some money, we ought to have some oversight,” he said.

Trustee Thomas Gifford said the idea sounded great in theory, but he worried that it could put the trustee who serves as a liaison to this committee in the uncomfortable position of limiting or blocking an event.

Kastberg agreed that the idea would cause a little bit of trouble.

“If I personally didn’t think it was necessary, I wouldn’t have brought it up,” he said.

BID Executive Director Nell Burrows said she believes that Kastberg’s idea is good because it will improve communication.

Holiday on the Avenue was dropped because it had gotten stale and there were several years of harsh weather.

“They were doing the same thing year after year,” she said.

Burrows said she hoped that a representative of the BID would be on this new committee.

“I think more events are fun,” she said. “I also am president of Freedom Park board, so we like to see lots of things happening in the village.”

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