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Warren County to provide up to $25,000 to help Lake George put on fireworks shows if permitted

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Lake George fireworks

Fireworks in Lake George are seen in this 2018 photo. Warren County has agreed to provide the village with up to $25,000 in occupancy tax funds to help with the cost of putting on the weekly shows during the summer. 

LAKE GEORGE — Warren County has agreed to provide up to $25,000 to help the village put on its fireworks shows this year.

Mayor Robert Blais came before the Tourism and Occupancy Tax Coordination Committee on Tuesday to seek additional funding.

Blais said this is all contingent on the village being able to hold its Thursday fireworks shows at all, in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.

However, assuming the shows go forward, Blais said the way the Thursdays fall in the calendar, the village is faced with the prospect of doing 10 fireworks shows instead of the seven or eight done in past years.

The cost of the shows has increased to about $6,500 to $7,000 each, according to Blais. The larger July 4 show costs about $12,000. Blais said the village’s occupancy tax funds are being stretched.

“We’ve also got more events in the village than we’ve ever had before,” he said.

Blais said he is having difficulty lining up sponsors.

The fireworks shows are one of the county’s largest attractions and bring a lot of people into the village, Blais said.

He added that this would be a one-time request.

At this point, Blais said the fireworks shows are on hold, but the guidelines governing large gatherings could change.

“We’re kind of optimistic that we’re going to be able to do the first show July 1,” he said.

The committee also agreed to award $12,000 to the town of Horicon for its Food Truck Fridays. Supervisor Sylvia Smith said the town is considering buying a tent that could house these events and others.

The committee was able to award additional funds because it had received good news earlier in the meeting about how much the county collected in occupancy tax revenue.

Warren County Administrator Ryan Moore said the county took in about $4.24 million in 2020. That is down from the $4.86 million in 2019, but it is higher than county officials expected. They were bracing for a bigger drop because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Warren County Treasurer Mike Swan said, as of now, occupancy tax revenues are a little more than 2% higher than at this same time in 2019, which he said makes for a better comparison. Last year was slow at this time because of the pandemic.

Michael Goot covers politics, crime and courts, Warren County, education and business. Reach him at 518-742-3320 or mgoot@poststar.com.

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