B y Dan King

A Granville resident has questioned town Supervisor Matt Hicks’ stance with mud-boggers at Mettowee Off Road Extreme events, saying the town should cooperate with event sponsors “instead of finger-pointing.”

John Shaw told the town board at its meeting Thursday that the mud-bogging program brought business to the town and should be supported.

“Washington County wants tourism,” Shaw said. “I heard there were 2,500 people there by 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. I think there should be more cooperation instead of finger-pointing.”
Hicks had expressed criticism of the event held April 1-3 at the county Route 12 location, calling it “an epic disaster.”

“The quote ‘epic disaster,’ I think that’s what they said when the Titanic went down,” said Shaw.

Hicks said he wouldn’t be surprised if the attendance number offered by Shaw was correct, and he acknowledged that some businesses benefitted from the mud-boggers, but he said town law must be obeyed.

“Just because the event came in and some businesses did really good, that doesn’t mean we don’t enforce the law, that’s not how a town works,” Hicks said.

He was referring to the town’s campgrounds ordinance, which he argues is being violated by Ralph Jameson, owner of the park used for Mettowee Off Road events.

“If he’s breaking all these laws, like you say he is,” Shaw asked, “then why’s he still up and running?”

Hicks said the only law from a town standpoint that is being violated is the campground ordinance. The town board held a closed-door session following the meeting to discuss how to enforce that law.

“We have to back up our law and that’s what we’re going to do,” Hicks said.

Shaw said he agreed with Hicks that boggers shouldn’t be traveling over the three-ton bridge near the bogging location. Other than that, he said, he felt the town should be more open to the mud-boggers.

“He’s trying to do an honest job, the best he can do up there and all people do is complain about him,” Shaw said, referring to Jameson. “We ought to be doing a better job of trying to bring those people in, not drive them out.”

Another mud-bogger rally is scheduled for May 6-8.

Jameson, who did not attend the meeting, did not respond to a request for comment.

Other business

In other town business, Hicks said he will look into getting street lights in North Granville fixed.

It was reported that eight of 13 lights between Truthville and the White Rose Inn were out. Hicks said he would contact NYSEG about it, but that it may take a little longer to get through now that the company no longer has a Mechanicville office.

The town also accepted a bid for mowing the cemetery from Green Mountain Boys Landscaping, which will mow twice a month from May through October, at a rate of $500 a month. That was the cheaper of two bids the town received.

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