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Leaf Home arrow The News arrow North East News arrow Senecas ID casino property, Henrietta supervisor says
Senecas ID casino property, Henrietta supervisor says
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 08 February 2014
Senecas ID casino property, Henrietta supervisor says
Gary McLendon, Staff writer
February 5, 2014

The Seneca Nation of Indians has identified a parcel of land it plans to purchase with an eye on building a new casino in Henrietta.

The proposed square footage and exact location has not been disclosed, but Supervisor Jack Moore has confirmed the Seneca Nation plans to purchase a 20- to 30-acre site within the boundaries of Jefferson Road, West Henrietta Road and Interstate 390 in a planned commercial district.

"When it is all said and done, they said the cost will be upward of $200 million," Moore said, adding the location "contains "a lot of taxpaying property" and "it would not touch any residential neighborhoods."

In late August, the Senecas announced that they had retained local developer David Flaum to organize and coordinate casino and hospitality development in the suburb south of Rochester.

Moore and Town Board members met with Seneca Nation representatives in Buffalo and Niagara Falls last week to tour existing casinos and discuss the Henrietta plan.

No engineering plans were discussed during the visit, he said, but the Seneca Nation plans to purchase the land within the next 30 days and present a detailed plan to the community within 90 days after the purchase.

Moore concedes because the Seneca Nation is a sovereign nation, and has exclusive gaming rights in western New York, it is doubtful the town has the legal power to stop construction of a casino, as future legal oversight falls under state and federal law.

However, organized outside opposition to the casino plan exists.

Former Rochester Mayor William Johnson, a member of the No More Casinos Coalition, said an additional casino in the area is "a zero sum gain," because he believes it would force two existing racinos in the area to close, and the addition of jobs at a new casino would not greatly offset the loss of jobs at the closed racinos.

Johnson said he challenges the Seneca Nation to provide proof that the casino will be a benefit.

Moore said the casino decision is "probably the most important decision the community has made in the last 50 years."

There's been no formal polling of town residents on the casino issue, said Moore, but he believes the majority of residents currently oppose building a casino in Henrietta.

"I'm personally not a casino lover. ... But they want the opportunity to present their plan to the community. ... I'm in a position where I have to provide the facts to the people," Moore said.

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