ALTAMONT, N.Y. (NEWS10) – During the off-season, the gates at the Altamont Fairgrounds are not locked so the community can walk their dogs here or ride bikes.
With the gates unlocked, it also leaves the fair vulnerable to theft and vandalism. The fair manager says it’s been an issue over the years, but this past off-season was by far the worst.
Staff members at the Altamont Fairgrounds began opening buildings to prepare for the fair next week, to their surprise, they found thousands of dollars worth of damage and theft.
Fair manager Amy Anderson says during the off-season numerous break-ins occurred. Copper pipes were stolen from multiple buildings including the milking parlor, wiring and electric cut at the performing area, and tires slashed on equipment vehicles.
“It’s all this last minute expense for money that we don’t really have to try to fix things that we shouldn’t need to fix so it’s heartbreaking that this is happening,” Anderson said.
One staff member says he’s been replacing locks at the fairgrounds.
As for the thousands of dollars in other damage and theft, Anderson says thankfully she has some time to decided how to pay for it.
“The people that came and fixed it for us were gracious enough to fix it,” Anderson said.
Anderson says she’s unsure how much the repairs are going to cost will figure it out after the fair.
“You see how busy it is here today. We’ve got days to go before the fair, so I just can’t even think about that right now.”
The goal, according to Anderson, is to eventually have enough money to put in a security system.
“We have 130 acres so it’s a tough job to get enough money to fund.”
Jean Conklin, the owner of Hungerford Market, says it would be a shame if they had to lock up the fairgrounds.
“I know there is a lot of runners that go in there. I myself, bring my puppy down.”
Despite the vandalism, the fair is still expected to open as scheduled next week on Tuesday.