City seeking help with fishing tourneys: Fishing tourneys provide no equity, supervisor argues PDF Print E-mail
Written by JOE LoTEMPLIO, Staff Writer   
Tuesday, April 03, 2007

PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh officials will get some help from the county in hosting a number of major fishing tournaments, but not from the Town of Plattsburgh.
As host of eight major fishing tournaments, the city must pay a total of about $96,000 to tournament organizers for the right to hold the events.
Since the tournaments generate a great deal of revenue for the region, the city sought support from the county and town for the host fees.
Clinton County leaders have agreed to pay one-third of the cost, but town leaders say they cannot offer cash.
"We recognize the value of these tournaments to the community, and we are very supportive of them, but there is no equity," Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett, said. "The county benefits far more than the town does as a municipality."
Bassett said $32,000 is a lot of money for the town budget to absorb, while it's not for the county.
He also said the sales-tax revenue generated from the tournaments is not as great as it may be made out to be because the revenue must be shared by every municipality in the county.
Also, the town may not legally be permitted to spend money on another municipality's event, Bassett said.
The town would help host the tournament with volunteers and possibly some advertising, Bassett said, but he does not see any money being offered.
City leaders were not happy to hear the town would not be contributing.
"To say they will support the tournament but not provide any money is just lip service," Councilor Michael Drew (R-Ward 1) said.
"The impact of these events is $50 million, and most of it is in the town. This is ridiculous."
Drew said the town's decision not to pay flies in the face of the efforts over the past year to increase shared services between the two municipalities.
"I would like to think that when the businesses in the town, the hotels, restaurants and the mall hear about this, they (Town Council) will have the court of public opinion to worry about," Drew said.
Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak said the city supports the tournaments financially, even though it is experiencing fiscal difficulties, because the benefit is so great.
"The city situation is the most dire of the three, and yet we stand up to the plate to do something that helps the entire region," Kasprzak said.
"I find it simply unbelievable that Bernie Bassett and the town do not feel a responsibility to make things like this successful for our region."
County Legislature Chairman Jimmy Langley (R-Area 7, Peru) said the sales-tax revenue is unmistakable for all, including the town.
"That's nothing but found money, and that's good for everybody," Langley said.
"We recognize the value of these tournaments and are pleased to have a partnership in them."



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