Hartford Americade debriefed

Americade in Hartford has come and gone this past week. Hartford took part in Americade’s Scavenger Hunt where bikers would come into town, go to one of the three businesses taking part and get their card stamped.

Of the 3 businesses I approached in February to take part in the Americade Scavenger Hunt, only Lulu’s  Diner saw a significant increase in revenue. That stands to reason as bikers can be a hungry lot. On Weds I noticed a bunch of bikes at the diner so decided to pull in for a cup of coffee and gloat at their success. Holly was waiting on tables and was not too happy to see me. She was flat out running back and forth trying to promptly serve the tables when she saw me. She pointed her finger at me saying “this is all your fault!”. I had the distinct feeling that she was deadly serious. 

The other two businesses, Pole Valley Golf Course and Dave Hicks’ Sporting/Hunting Goods both estimated they had about 100 visitors seeking to get their cards stamped but made very little in sales.

Steve Forbes at Pole Valley told me they made a total of $3 on the bikers because a couple bought two Hot Dogs.

Daryl Duval, who dug my pond told me yesterday that Dave Hicks was looking for me. I went to Dave’s shop this afternoon and was a little nervous getting out of my truck. I had heard that the bikers were entering his shop, getting stamped and then leaving without buying anything or even looking around. How could you not look around? Dave’s shop is fascinating and reminds me of what a Cabela’s in Maine might have looked like in the 1930’s.

When I heard Dave was looking for me I had this fleeting image in my mind that he might be looking through a rifle scope. He had about 5 bikers from NJ and PA in his shop when I went inside so I felt safe. Dave seemed to be in a good mood because when I entered, he held up a pint jar in front of the NJ group and asked them if they could guess what it was. To me it looked like just like a jar of Pickled Herring in red vinegar sauce. The same kind I used to seek out when ever I would go to Gdansk, Poland on the Merchant Ship that I was Captain of. I thought I would win the contest when the bikers were stumped but then Dave oddly unscrewed the cap and asked a lady if she liked musk cologne. She said yes and Dave said “take a little whiff”. Well, she did and then quickly recoiled her head exclaiming “Oh my God!”. Dave did a little smile and said “these are Muskrat musk scent glands”. Dave treated that little jar like it contained gold and said that it was used as a scent lure during trapping season. I asked Dave where he got the glands and with a straight face he said “from between their legs”.  The lady then did her best Jeff Foxworthy saying “I think I just became a Red Neck”.   

Let’s hope that next year will be just as much fun…


Americade in Hartford

This coming week is Americade week. From Monday June 7th till Friday June 11th bikers will be riding thru town stopping at 3 businesses for a Poker Run style Scavenger Hunt. For more info scroll down to my March 17 post “Americade coming to town”.   Dana

Buy Local presentation at the Hartford Firehouse

Washington County Tourism Consultant Christine Hoffer will put on a presentation & roundtable workshop on Washington County Tourism & Buy Local Program at the Hartford Firehouse. The presentation will be on Weds 6/16/10 at 6pm.

The Firehouse is located at the intersection of State Route 40 and State Route 149 which is a little bit north of the Stewart’s Shop.

All Central Washington County (plus North and South) businesses are encouraged to attend to learn how they can attract and maximize revenue from shoppers. These shoppers can be either day tripping tourist or locals. 

Washington County Tourism has a lot of promotional knowledge and resources to help local businesses, but unless you know about them, it is difficult to take advantage of them. This presentation is an outreach by the Consultant to inform local businesses in the center of the County. 

A similar presentation will also be made in the North and South ends of the county so that all county businesses will have the opportunity to conveniently attend. 6/15/10 at the Whitehall Pavilion and 6/17/10 at the Greenwich Central School Media Center.

If you have not already done so, please visit the Washington County Tourism website www.washingtonnycounty.com


Congressman Murphy to visit Civil War Enlistment Center.

I received a call today from U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy’s office about the Civil War Enlistment Center. The Congressman wants to visit the center on Thursday, June 3rd at 12:30 pm.

As you may remember, The Town of Hartford and Hartford’s Historical Society requested that Congressman Murphy see what he could do to help preserve the center. The masonry foundation of the center is failing and it is estimated that it will take about $60,000 to jack the building up and replace the foundation. It goes without saying that if the foundation fails, the building falls dawn.

This Enlistment Center, at #55 County Route 23 (Main Street) is where men  from Hartford and Hebron signed up to join the 123rd NY Volunteers in the Civil War. The were assigned to Company E.

This Enlistment Center is the only remaining Civil War Enlistment Center in the entire state. It is important to our cultural heritage that this center be preserved.  Unfortunately, the Town and the Historical Group lack the funds to do so, which is why we reached out to Representative Murphy.

The Historical Society is having a meeting at the center on May 26th 7pm open to the public.

If you are interested in coming to the center on June 3rd to impress upon the Congressman the urgent need this center has for repairs and his assistance in preserving it, please do so.


Hartford Farmers’ Market has a new home.

The Hartford Farmers’ Market has a new home for the 2011 season. The 2011 season will be the Grand Opening season and will now be located next door to the Stewart’s Shop, at the old Meme and Papa’s Icecream shop. The old Meme and Papa’s Icecream shop is the Regional District Headquarters for Stewarts.

Market Manager Pat Imbimbo and myself walked the property today with Stewart’s District Manager Mark Bruno to work out the fine details. Stewarts is being very cooperative and acting in a very beneficial manner to the Hartford community.

This location is on the short stretch of highway where State Route 40 and State Route 149 share the same roadway. A recent traffic pattern study indicates that over 5,000 cars a day travel this section of highway.

You really could not ask for a better location to hold a Farmers’ Market. The building and grounds are very attractive.

The Market’s operating days will now be held on Saturdays from 9am till 1pm from mid-May to mid-Oct. 2011

Originally, the Market was to open this year and be located at the Hartford Firehouse on Sundays. The Market started looking for vendors in March which turned out to be too late to solicit vendors. A lack of vendors made the Market decide to hold off for a year and get a huge headstart on getting vendors to committ for 2011.

This change of venue also allows the Market to change the day from a Sunday to a Saturday.

Saturdays are the most popular Farmers’ Market day, so this 1 year delay and change of location may actually work out as a win win for Hartford, Buy Local, and the Market. Plus, Stewarts should see a lot of walk over business from the Market to help their sales as well.

U.S. Senator Gillibrand was very helpful and wrote a letter to the President of Stewarts encouraging the idea that the Market locate at their building.

Hartford citizen Theresa Streit  was instrumental in keeping in contact with Mr. Tom Mailey at Stewart’s corporate offices.

Assemblyman Tony Jordan is keeping alive the member item request in the amount of $1,500 if and when the State Budget ever gets finalized.

The future for the Hartford Farmers’ Market now looks very promising and will be a wonderful “Buy Local” experience and destination in the Town of Hartford for a Saturday.


Support your local 7th Grader

Hartford Central School’s 7th Grade class is conducting a “Dine to Donate” fund raiser at the Queensbury 5 GUYS BURGER and FRIES on Thursday April 29th from 5pm to 8pm.  20% of purchase with a flyer will be donated to the 7th Grade Trust Fund.

The burger joint is located at 735 Upper Glen Street.

You can get a flyer at the Town Office or from the School.

I particularly like the burger with everything but the kitchen sink on it. It rivals Lulu’s Diner Monster Burger.

Please support the 7th Grade and visit 5 GUYS on that day. Be sure to bring your coupon flyer with you.


Farmers’ Market Postponed until next year

The opening of the Hartford Farmers’ Market has been postponed for 1 year.

The Board of Directors for the Market decided that the Market simply did not have enough vendors signed up for the mid-May opening to make it viable. You only get 1 chance to make a good first impression and having a market open with just 3 or 4 vendors would have been an economic disaster and may turn people away permanently. If we had 8 vendors we might have tried it this year, we would prefer at least 10 for the first year and hopefully get bigger every year. 

The Town Board had been primed to receive a presentation from Market Manager Pat Imbimbo Tuesday night over the Market Budget and funding information. But earlier that day Pat and the Market Board of Directors decided that we waited as long as we could for vendors to sign up and unfortunately we felt we didn’t have enough to make a go of it.. 

At first the Market felt that March would be early enough to solicit vendors but that now appears to be wrong. Many of the vendors that we approached said that they normally commit to a market in January. They would have come to Hartford if they only had known about us in January.

Even though I am the President of the Market’s Board of Directors, I am also the Supervisor and Chief Financial Officer of the town.  The Board of directors, myself included cannot justifiably try to solicit funds from the town when we know in our heart that the market will not succeed this year.

There are boatloads of shopping support from the community but unlike that movie Field of Dreams ,if you build it, the vendors wont necessarily come. 

The Market will remain organized with an active Board of Directors, Market Rules, Application Forms, Market Logo contest, etc.   Instead of attempting a fizzling start for year 2010 we will now have a huge head start for soliciting vendors and funding for 2011. Our goal now is to open mid-May 2011 and operate until mid Oct 2011 for year #1.

Assemblyman Jordan, Senator Gillibrand, and most of the community have been very supportive of Hartford starting a Farmers’ Market. The market now asks you to continue your support into next year.


Farmers’ Market update

The Hartford Farmers’ Market is well on its way to becoming a reality.

A core group of persons that have showed interest from the very beginning met to draft Market Rules, Market Budget, Market Vendor Application form, and create a Board of Directors.

A press release has been issued to all the local papers announcing that the Market has been created and will be open Sundays 10am to 2pm from mid-May to mid-Oct. at the Hartford Firehouse.

The Hartford High School Graphic Design class is creating a Market logo.

Year 1 will be a little unusual because nothing tangible really exists yet.  By year 2 the Market should be running full ahead and the Board of Directors will be elected by the member vendors of the market.

A “Member Item” funding request has been made to Assemblyman Tony Jordan’s office but the State Budget mess leaves this request up in the air for now. Unfortunately the market does not have the luxury to wait. It will need start up money sooner rather than later. At the upcoming Town Board meeting on 4/13/10, The Market Board of Directors will request year 1 start up funds to get the market off the ground.

The Board of Directors for the Market year 1 are; Dana Haff – President (since this whole thing was my idea anyway), Pat Imbimbo – Market Manager, Andrea Wade – advertising & promotion, Emily DeBolt – Secretary/Treasurer, and Patty Happy – Board Member. 

If you support this market, please come to the Town Board meeting at 7pm Tuesday 4/13/10 and let us know.       Dana

Hartford awarded $24,000 Farmland Protection Planning Grant

Today I received a phone call from NYS Ag & Markets. I was informed that Hartford was awarded a $24,000 Farmland Protection Planning Grant.  The application for this grant was done during the planning process of our current Comprehensive Review (Master Plan) with the help of Consultant Brandy Saxton. 

This grant is to develope an agricultural and farmland protection plan and should not be confused with an implementation type of grant which is designed to buy up the developmental rights of farmland.

The Town Board will need to appoint a 5 or 7 member Agricultural Advisory Committee made up of Hartford Farmers.

The town will also need to contract with a consultant experienced in drafting these type of plans. The Ag Advisory Committee and the consultant will then work closely together to draft up a plan.

As per the Ag & Market website, Farmland protection plans should identify the location of farmland proposed to be protected, the value of that land to the local economy, the value of the land as open space, consequences of possible conversion and the level of conversion pressure on the proposed land.


Washington County Tourism Website

Washington County Tourism has a new website www.washingtonnycounty.com . This site is still under construction until it is sufficiently populated with events and links to businesses. A link to this site is provided via our Town of Hartford website under “Pages”. If you have a Hartford event or tourism related business please go to this website and populate it. On the bottom right side of the site you will find “Link your Business” and “Post your event”. You will find forms to fill out that will allow the site to link people to your website.  Some events that you might not think of as tourism events really are. A church supper for instance would qualify for the event calendar. It is also a good idea for you to list your business with google business . This way when a tourist wants to plan their itinerary through the County Tourism website, your location will pop up on a map. Some functions of the website do not function yet, that is because there has not been enough businesses yet signing up to populate the site and provide info. This is sort of like “what came first, the chicken or the egg?”. Well, if you have a Hartford Agri-business for example, put your egg in the basket and the county will come up with the chicken.  Dana