» Travers, Phish weekend at track and SPAC cost Saratoga S…


SARATOGA SPRINGS – The city of Saratoga Springs had to pick up around $25,000 in overtime for the city fire and police departments during Travers weekend, which also featured a Phish benefit concert at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

“It’s a little bit higher than prior years because of the incredible expectations that were actually fulfilled in terms of the real numbers of people, but not by a huge margin,” said James Montagnino, the Public Safety Commissioner. 

Saratoga Race Course saw 48,292 people in attendance on Travers Day and both Phish shows at SPAC were expected to have 20,000 people each. Attendance numbers there were not available. 

Public Safety Commissioner James Montagnino said they saw the huge crowds they were expecting. 

All together the city had around $37,000 in overtime expenses. 

At the track: 

The fire department had 136 hours of overtime costing $8,160, which is reimbursed through a contract with the New York Racing Association. 

The police department had 175 hours in overtime at the track, costing $9,944, which the city pays for.

“There are instances such as NYRA giving us a grant last year for obtaining and training an additional K-9 officer, so it’s not a free ride by any stretch, but there’s no agreement with NYRA where they’re compensating us for overtime,” Montagnino said.


The fire department had 88.5 hours of overtime, costing $5,310. SPAC, through a contract, covered $4,260. Montagnino said the contract sets out specific parameters for how many ambulances and how many hours for each person working. 

Caroline Street/ Night shift: 

Code Enforcement, which falls under the fire department, also received 48 hours of overtime, costing around $2,880. 

“The majority of that stuff is things like occupancy limits being exceeded by restaurants or bars, noise–decibel levels being exceeded–those sorts of things,” Montagnino said.

The police department’s patrol officers, who were out in the Caroline Street area for the weekend, had 75 hours in overtime, totaling $5,353. The sergeants had 28 hours in overtime, totaling $1,932 and the lieutenants had 44 hours in overtime, costing $3,520.

Montagnino said the respective overtime budget lines for each department will cover the costs.

“This is something that is pretty much baked into the budget,” he said. This doesn’t come as a surprise.”

Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at [email protected]

Categories: News, Saratoga County, Saratoga Springs

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