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Fredonia plans details for SBR rally

Fredonia is putting the final touches on its “Small Business Revolution” rally. Reimbursement for the organizers, however, will have to wait.

The rally will dominate most of downtown Fredonia for the afternoon of March 6. Organizers of Fredonia’s victorious effort to get the show to film its fifth season in the village will greet show hosts Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington, along with the rest of the production team.

Fredonia’s Board of Trustees made a key change to the rally at its meeting Monday night. They originally approved a closure of Temple Street for the event back on Jan. 10, with a stage planned for the middle of that road. Realizing that that could make it all but impossible for some people to drive downtown, rally organizers will no longer close Temple Street. In lieu of that, trustees approved the closure of Church and Park streets around Barker Common.

According to a letter from the rally committee to the Fredonia board describing the rally, the open container law will be suspended in east Barker Common, and for businesses participating in the rally, from 6 to 9 p.m. Local wineries will be allowed to set up stands near the park.

The “Small Business Revolution” promotion effort has cost the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce — and Todd Tranum, president of the chamber, exhorted the trustees Monday to offer some sort of compensation. He did not specify how much money he wanted.

He said that the good publicity from the promotion of the show has helped the village every bit as much as the show itself. Trustees and Mayor Doug Essek seemed to agree with him, noting that it was only fair that Fredonia offer the Chamber of Commerce something in return for all they have done.

However, Treasurer Jim Sedota sounded notes of caution.

“I need a legal opinion from the attorney (Dan Gard, who was not present Monday) on if you can contribute,” he said. “I know you can’t donate to a specific business.”

However, he said he thought the rules are different here because the money would go to an entity that assists multiple businesses.

While personally in favor of the donation, Sedota added, “If I misappropriate funds, I am personally responsible.” Apparently awaiting Gard’s opinion, trustees took no action on the reimbursement proposal Monday.

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