County requests lead for Woodstock review
WATKINS GLEN--The Schuyler County legislature met Monday, April 8, for the regular monthly meeting in the legislative chambers at the county office building. All resolutions were passed unanimously with legislator Jim Howell absent Monday evening.
During the public comment session at the beginning of the meeting, the group was asked some follow-up questions by a resident about the planning of the upcoming Woodstock 50 concert at Watkins Glen International. The event has been announced for Aug. 16-18.
Various numbers regarding crowd estimates have been rumored since the weekend music festival was announced. 100,000 was previously mentioned by a legislator, and at a question and answer period last month, co-creator Michael Lang talked about 27,000 campsites at an average of 2.4 people per site (64,800 people) and then additional day parking in the thousands of cars range.
Schuyler County Administrator Tim O'Hearn commented on those numbers in response to a question, saying, "Actually the number right now is a maximum of 75,000 and it may not even be that much based on what they have asked us."
The deadline for the mass gathering permit application is 45 days before the event, however, it could be submitted earlier.
A resolution was passed Monday evening requesting lead agency status for Schuyler County in relation to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) for Woodstock. Watkins Glen International has submitted a complete Full Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) and now the county is asking for lead status with the environmental review.
In other news, a resolution was passed to join a constitutional challenge to a New York City law that could have implications for the state's gun control measures. The action allows County Attorney Steven Getman to "render aid, where possible and practicable, to the various states listed as Amicus Curiae in the pending United States Supreme Court case of the New York Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. et. al. v. City of New York, State of New York et. al."
The resolution notes joining will be at no cost to the county. According to Getman, this is the first significant Second Amendment case the Supreme Court will hear since ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) that the Constitution protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and further that this right applies against the states as well as the federal government, in McDonald v. Chicago (2010).
Finally, Chairman Dennis Fagan mentioned sales tax numbers continue to exceed last year's previous record numbers, however unfunded mandates from the state contribute significantly to taxes. "They don't get it," he remarked about the state pushing tax caps but then transferring expenses to the counties.