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Organizers looking to charge BASS Divisional attendees

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WADDINGTON — The village mayor said Monday that she expects Bass Anglers Sportsman Society officials will approve changes to an agreement with the village that would allow local organizers to charge an entrance fee for the 2014 National Divisional.

The eastern divisional, slated for Sept. 24 to 26, will bring close to 250 anglers – over 100 more than the Elite Series – who are looking to compete in the 2014 B.A.S.S. National Championship.

The village is hoping to charge an entrance fee for the concerts and festival. Money raised would allow organizers to create an account to fund future tournaments.

The 2013 Evan Williams Bourbon Showdown cost approximately $223,000. The money was raised predominately by donations and in-kind services. But village officials have said relying on donations is not a sustainable method of raising money.

While negotiations are still ongoing, Mayor Janet M. Otto-Cassada said she anticipates the contract changes will be approved soon by B.A.S.S. organizers.

“There has been a conversation,” Mrs. Otto-Cassada said. “I think they were only worried about us charging dock fees or launch fees, but we would never charge for those anyway. I don’t think they are going to have any problem with us charging for the event or the concerts.”

Unlike the Elite Series held in August, a craft fair and concert are not required in the National qualifiers. But village officials still see the qualifiers as another way to generate revenue for area businesses as well as ensuring the success of future tournaments.

“They are saying we don’t need a concert or a craft fair, but Waddington and St. Lawrence County do,” Mrs. Otto-Cassada said of revenue. “We want to make this an annual event.”

The village expects to hold another Elite Series event in 2015. How organizers will charge for the event is undetermined, Mrs. Otto-Cassada said. Some residents have suggested temporary fencing around where the event will be held in Whittaker Park, she said.

“That will be a discussion for the committees,” she said. “There are ways to do it. We just have to find them. Everyone will know when the first committee meeting is so everyone can show up and offer suggestions.”

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