FREDONIA: Non-fest details need team effort

Village of Fredonia officials find themselves in a difficult position. Within two months, the notorious non Fred Fest will take place within the municipality.

For those living inside the limits — and especially near downtown — this is a real disruption. In the bigger picture, however, it is only one weekend out of the 38 weeks the university is in session.

What is the compromise? Mayor Michael Ferguson said the focus of the partying should head back to campus, calling it a safety hazard for village residents.

“Those types of things should be discussed long in advance, seasons in advance,” he said. “As things progress through our administration, let’s attempt to visualize those things coming down the road, so we can address them early and not be doing it at the last minute.”

But that is not going to happen. When the event was canceled by the university in 2015, it triggered the student body to move the activities to off-campus housing.

That’s where the party continues, which creates an inconvenience for community members as well as law enforcement. But again, it’s only one weekend.

So, as the university continues to shrink in terms of enrollment, there is another side to this. Is one party weekend too much for villagers to tolerate?

In any event, Ferguson is right to discuss this issue while there is time. Non Fred Fest will arrive. We know what it looks like from the past, but is there a way it can be changed for everyone?

That solution requires a gathering of university and village officials.


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