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July 11, 2013

Officials 'ready' for Furthur concert

Despite local concerns about Sunday’s Furthur concert, village officials said they are prepared for the event.

“I believe we are ready,” said Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz. “It would be nice if we could have a day without rain for the concert though.”

Both Katz and Cooperstown police chief Mike Covert said that there will be stepped up police patrols before and after the concert. However, they both said that the idea that there will be weekend camp outs by fans of the Grateful Dead legacy band was a misconception.

“I think that was taken out of context a little bit,” Covert said. “We’re not going to let people camp outside or sleep in tents or anything. What we meant was that if people wanted to sleep in their cars overnight (at the Blue Lot) after the concert, then that would be okay.”

The village got a letter from lawyers representing Cooperstown Central School, Green and Green Attorneys at Law, that expressed concern for school property. The village Blue Lot, which is the designated overnight parking lot for concert traffic is adjacent to the middle/high school’s junior parking lot and softball and soccer fields.

“The school is concerned about liability, clean-up of discarded debris, the security of the school, both buildings, field and improvement to its fields,” the letter, which was dated June 12, read in part. It asked that the village add the school district to its insurance, inform school officials about security plans and agree to take responsibility for clean-up and possible damages.

Although no action has been taken in terms of insurance, Katz said that he has assured the school officials that the village is going to take responsibility for protecting local properties, including CCS.

“What I have said to the school is the same thing we have said to any of the businesses in that area, the natural food store (Cooperstown Natural Foods), the church (Church of Christ) or anyone else,” he said. “We’re going to have extra patrols. We’re going to enforce the laws. We’re going to do everything we can to protect their property.”

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