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Monticello Readies
For 200th Birthday

By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO — September 12, 2003 – The year 2004 will mark the 200th anniversary of the Village of Monticello. The planning process has just begun to mark the bicentennial.
One of the chairs of the bicentennial committee, Les Kristt, appeared before the Village of Monticello Board at a meeting in August. The bicentennial committee is looking for their help in the planning and celebration.
“We need to go forward,” Kristt commented, then directed his comments to the residents that were complaining about the village conditions earlier in the meeting. “There are some positive things happening in the village. The silent majority feels the village board is doing a good and honorable job. It is not all bad. I like it here. We need to show the outside world that this is a pretty darn good place.
“However, we need your help,” Kristt continued. “We have to turn around attitudes. People had a great time 50 years ago [at the sesquicentennial celebration]. We will have a great time again. You will have fun whether you like it or not.”
The board adopted a proclamation on the bicentennial. Kristt, Connie Keller, and Steve Sharoff were appointed co-chairs of the committee. Village Board Member Victor Marinello Jr. was appointed as the liaison to the committee.
“I think it would be appropriate to look into turning the ambulance corps building into a museum,” remarked Village Trustee David Rosenberg. “It could also be a reading room or a place for the Catskill Hall of Fame. We could send out feelers to get celebrities with connections to the village to appear. We need to plan for this as early as we can.”
Rosenberg suggested circulating $2 bills with the bicentennial stamp. He also suggested have the Monticello schools start a pen-pal program with the other Monticellos in the country. Lastly, he suggested a parade for the first Saturday in August complete with antique cars, fire trucks, biplanes doing a flyover, fireworks, and a street fair.
Village Mayor Gary Sommers stated the village has committed $2,000 to the committee. Kristt stated they had begun to get corporate sponsors lined up.
The next meeting of the committee will be Wednesday, September 24 at 7 p.m. at the Neighborhood Facility.

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