Guilford OKs use of Green in ’09

Tuesday, December 2, 2008 5:59 AM EST
By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff

GUILFORD — Despite a handful of problems with large events on the Green this summer, Board of Selectmen members said Monday they are willing to allow groups to use the space next year.

And the organizers of one of the largest events, the annual Craft Expo, said at a workshop meeting Monday they already have ideas for improving the process next year.

Two years ago, the board passed new rules for the use of the Green — governing areas like the use of tents and vehicles on the space — that would have forced most large events to move elsewhere. That caused the organizers of some annual affairs, like the Craft Expo and Shakespeare on the Shoreline, to say they might have to leave town.

Following that input, an ad hoc committee earlier this year recommended that the town allow large events to continue on the Green, but require a site coordinator and security deposit against any damages. The selectmen also agreed to watch the activities this summer to see if there were any concerns.

Kevin Magee, the town’s engineering technician who monitored all the events on the Green this summer, said there were some concerns during the expo that tent stakes were being placed too close to electrical lines. Also, some tents bumped up against tree canopies, and a contractor set up the tents the evening before he was supposed to.

Magee said that some tents will have to be moved next year farther from power lines.

At another event, the annual Shoreline Jewish Festival, some bags of trash were accidentally left on the Green, for which the town fined the organizers.

Selectman Sal Catardi noted the issues with the power lines arose this year with the town monitoring the situation more closely.

“A lot of this has evolved over time — these tents have been in the same spots for 10 years,” Catardi said. “There need to be adjustments as you go on in time.”

Jean Perkins, executive director of the Guilford Art Center, which puts on the Craft Expo, agreed, and said that the group has already talked about ways to improve, which could include moving or shrinking some tents.

“We’re going to have to work it out, because they can’t touch the trees and they have to stay away from the wires,” Perkins said. “We’ve been around a lot looking this summer and there are a lot of different options.”

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