St. Lawrence County legislators want more info before deciding on Bassmaster contribution
By JIMMY LAWTON
CANTON -- St. Lawrence County legislators want more in-depth figures on revenues and expenses for the Bassmaster Elite Series before they will consider a financial contribution to help fund the event.
Legislators Monday tabled a resolution that would have contributed $30,000 in county funds toward the summer event that draws between 30,000 and 40,000 people.The motion to table the agreement was brought forward by Don Hooper who said that while he attends and supports the Bass Elite Series events in Waddington, he felt more concrete financial information was needed before he could recommend a contribution.
“Until they can give us true financial statements, I would like to make the motion to table this,” he said.
The 10-5 decision to table the resolution came after Waddington Mayor Janet Otto-Cassada read a letter from William Dashnaw urging the county to support the event. A letter from Waddington resident Matt O’Brien in support of county funding for the event was also read allowed at the beginning of the meeting.
In past interviews Otto-Cassada said the event draws roughly 33,000 people over the four-day weekend making it one of the most successful tourism events in the county.
She said the four-day weekend costs about $120,000, which is far more than the village can afford on its own. In the past the village has relied on grants, municipalities, organizations and volunteers to help fund and facilitate the events surrounding the massive fishing tournament.
Otto-Cassada says the tournament is a boon for every town and village in county as the event generates a surge in sales tax, but even more so for communities along the St. Lawrence River like, Ogdensburg, Lisbon, Louisville and Massena. She says people who attend the event rent campsites, buy gas and groceries at the local businesses.
The county is expected to revisit the issue at its next meeting.