Bloomingdale mayor talks to News 3 about Coastal Empire Fair relocation


City leaders are calling on the community to weigh-in on moving the Coastal Empire Fair to Bloomingdale this year.

News 3’s Courtney Cole spoke to the mayor of the city, ahead of tonight’s public hearing, to find out what you need to know.

Rides, interesting animals, games and good food!

Those are just some of the things that kept people coming back to the Coastal Empire Fair year after year.

But after the shooting on the Fair grounds in 2012, that left seven people injured, some people stopped going—including Ben Rozier, the Mayor of Bloomingdale.

“I was there with two of my grandchildren at the fair when the shooting occurred. It was at the end of the night, everyone was trying to leave and they shut the gates and wouldn’t let anyone out…that was a scary moment,” Mayor Rozier said.

But now, the Exchange Club of Savannah wants to move the fair to a different location…and Ottawa Farms is one of the sites being considered.

“I think it could be a positive thing, as long as we can keep a good hand on the security and the traffic. We have approached the sheriff’s about helping us with security, and of course they’re willing to help us out,” said Mayor Rozier.

The mayor says they’ve also talked to the Exchange Club about gating the area and putting metal detectors at entrances for extra security.

“I think it would draw people from several different counties around, you know? From Effingham, Bulloch, Bryan County…”

And it’s those same people, along with the citizens of Bloomingdale, that Mayor Rozier wants to hear from tonight.

“My mind is not made up until the citizens of Bloomingdale speak, because I was elected to represent them and I just want to do the best thing for the citizens.”

The mayor and city council of Bloomingdale are hosting a public hearing tonight, to get your feedback.

It starts at 7:00 p.m. at Bloomingdale City Hall on 8 West U.S. Highway 80.

After tonight’s meeting, Mayor Rozier says a final decision will be made in the next two weeks.

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