Published Date Written by Barbara TetreaultThe council Monday night approved sending a letter to State Senator Jeff Woodburn, Gov. Maggie Hassan, and the city's state representatives expressing its support of Senate Bill 152 allowing a single regulated casino in the state. The letter noted the city before has supported legalized gambling in the state and a casino in Berlin or the North Country. While SB 152 does not propose to place a casino in the North Country, the letter noted it allocates ten percent of the revenues be used for economic development in the North Country through the state Department of Resources and Economic Development. The other revenue would be evenly split between funding for education and highway, road, and bridge repair.
"The North Country is in desperate need of public investment in all three of these areas and this legislation appears to be a good first step toward achieving it," the letter concludes.
Woodburn co-sponsored the bill after the main sponsors agreed to designate ten percent of the revenues to economic development in the North Country.
Council pledges support for ATV FestivalThe city council pledged it will again be a sponsor of the Jericho ATV Festival scheduled for this July 26-27. Last year, the two-day festival drew close to 2,000 riders and was considered a huge success.
Androscoggin Valley ATV Club officers Rene Boutin and Dave Osgood met with the city council Monday night to request its support again this year.
The city was the biggest financial sponsor last year with a donation of $4,200. Mayor Paul Grenier promised the city will also be a sponsor this year and said he will recommend including a line item in the upcoming budget for the festival. He said he could not at this time commit to a specific amount but said the city will put up funding.
"We will be a significant player," he said.
Boutin and Osgood said their club has hired Kurt Muhlfelder of South End Media to promote the ATV festival. He said Muhlfelder is in charge of marketing the
N.H. SnoDeo event, which has been named one of the top ten snowmobile events in the country.
The club, with help from the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce, will run the festival events at Jericho Park, which includes 80 miles of trails. One of the popular features of the festival is a mud pit.
This year, the Berlin Main Street Program is planning a large block party in the downtown to coincide with the festival. The Main Street Program received a $20,000 grant from Citizens Bank to promote downtown events during the ATV festival and RiverFire.
Boutin said the club would like to do a membership drive soon to get new members. He said there is a small group that has been doing the festival and help would be appreciated. He noted club membership is down considering the large number of ATV enthusiasts that use the local trails.