B'ville boards

Public vs. private rental

The village of Baldwinsville is looking into whether public events at Paper Mill Island should have priority for summer rentals over private events.

The issue arose when board members discussed private parties, such as weddings and graduation parties, renting the island all day but only actually using the island for a couple of hours, rendering the island useless for the public for the remainder of the day.

Board members would prefer to see the island used by all, especially during the summer.

"The intention was for public use," Trustee Dave Mott said.

His suggestion for a solution was to create a black out window from Memorial Day to Labor Day that only allowed island rental for public events. Trustee Anthony Saraceni agreed.

"That island was meant to be an economic engine for this community," he said, noting how busy the surrounding business district becomes during public events.

Trustee Rick Presley was hesitant to support a black out window.

"I'm not sure we want to do that," he said, noting that Budweiser, the namesake of the amphitheater, usually rents the facility out for a private employee party. He added that a black out window could create a loss of revenue for the village and leave the island unused if a public event is not scheduled.

"If the island is not booked, we negate the ability of private citizens to book," he said.

Trustee Robin Augello talked about the policy for Longbranch Park, which restricts island rental to public events only until a certain date.

"The idea is to let public events come in first then open to private," she said.

The board discussed blacking out dates to private parties if the desired date was more than 90 days away.

On the other hand, if the island is not rented, any private party wanting to rent the island within 90 days could do so. Board members questioned whether promoters would be able to book more than 90 days from events and Promoter Mike Banks, of Water Banks Party, said, "We try to book at least four months in advance."

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