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Village of Hamburg Music Festival expands into Memorial Park

This year the Village of Hamburg’s Memorial Park has been added as one of the many venues for the Hamburg Music Festival this May 4 from 2 to 10 p.m. (See related story and schedule on page 31).

That beer, wine and food is also being offered at the park raised some concerns at the April 15 Hamburg Village Board meeting.

“I know we gave them permission to use Memorial Park, but I do not remember anything being mentioned about alcohol or food being down there,” Trustee Laura Hackathorn said.

Most of the board members remember agreeing that bands could play in the park, since there were more bands who wanted to participate than could be handled in the Main and Buffalo streets business district, but not about the vendors.

“There was some concern the village was getting overcrowded and that this was turning into a street party,” Village Administrator Donald Witkowski said.

According to Witkowski, he and Mayor Thomas Moses had sat down with the festival organizers (some of whom also run the Oktoberfest) and were aware that food and alcohol would be at the park.

“This event is also to encourage people to go to the local restaurants and businesses. By offering food, etc. at the park, this could impact customer flow to other businesses,” Hackathorn said.

Witkowski said the festival organizers said their main purpose is to raise money for the charities they historically support. This includes 14 individual scholarships, 22 sponsorships and grants and 16 community outreach donations, with much of the money generated by the sale of the $10 wristbands.

“The organizers have included a bus stop at the park for the ‘Music Bus,’ so that people there can get to the other areas involved with the festival,” Witkowski said.

“This has gotten to be a very large event, with thousands of people attending it,” Witkowski said. “This was the logical next step to utilize the park so that additional bands could participate and that people had another location to congregate, not in the roadways.”

In other business, the board:

• Approved accepting credit cards as a means of payment for taxes, fees, fines and other charges levied by the village.

“The Hamburg Village Court has been taking credit card payments for several years,” Donald Witkowski said. “We have had several requests over the years and we decided it was time to put this in place.”

According to Witkowski, everything should be in place in time for property tax payments on June 1.

• Re-appointed Adrienne Punturiero of the Village of Hamburg’s Environmental Conservation Commission to the Erie County Environmental Management Council for an additional two-year term.

• Appointed Christopher J. Podpora to the permanent status of crew chief in the Department of Public Works. He successfully completed his probationary term.

• Appointed David A. Wittmeyer to the permanent status of working crew chief for the DPW. He also had successfully completed his probationary term.

• Granted the request of the Hamburg Oktoberfest Committee to hold the Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 3 to 11 p.m. at the Memorial Park.

• Agreed to vote on the proposed changes on the trailer/boat/camper/RV storage code changes at the May 6 meeting.

• Heard May 4 is the opening of Hamburg’s Farmer’s Market.

The board next meets in a work session at 5:30 p.m. on Monday May 6 followed by a regular meeting at 7 p.m.

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