Selectmen want regulations for Country Fairgrounds land use

By Tanner Harding | Aug 07, 2017

Rochester — The Rochester Country Fairgrounds needs some regulations – that much could be agreed upon.

At the previous selectmen meeting, some neighbors complained about the noise from property being used for the South Coast Working Dog training.

Therefore, at Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Chair Brad Morse read out a preliminary list of guidelines he and Country Fair Committee Co-Chair David Souza had developed. The Board of Selectmen is charged with the property's use.

These regulations included no fireworks, all activities must end by 10 p.m. and not begin before 7 a.m., no overnight camping is allowed except for approved groups during the Country Fair, no bonfires and all other uses of the fairgrounds must be approved by the selectmen.

However, after some discussion, the selectmen and members of the fair committee in attendance agreed that more in-depth discussion was needed before voting to accept the regulations.

“We need to sit and do some serious thinking, and come up with something reasonable,” Selectman Naida Parker said. “I think we need to sit down and discuss it more.”

Selectman Woody Hartley agreed, and said that the two groups need to agree upon what the exact use for the property is as well.

“We should spent some time discussing it and covering all the bases…I saw that this was for the Town of Rochester activities, not other activities,” Hartley said. “If we’re going to change that we should discuss it…A change of use should go through a very public process.”

Parker said that this specific piece of property is unlike any other the selectmen are in charge of, and thus there has been a learning curve.

“This is the first time something came under the Board of Selectmen property to be used in a more creative way than the usual properties that are under our jurisdiction,” she said. “It’s been a learning experience for both the Country Fair Committee and the Board of Selectmen.”

Souza asked that the committee be involved in the regulation discussion, as it had become discouraging to organize the fair.

“We do this for nothing,” he said. “Every day we do something for the fair, it’s money out of our pockets. We don’t mind, but we’re having the wind taken out of our sail. It’s become so hard to do something so simple. We try to keep everyone happy but it’s impossible. When it becomes so much grief, the love to do it goes away pretty fast.”

The board will resume the discussion at the next meeting on Aug. 21.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.