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Leaf Home arrow The News arrow North East News arrow New entry in derby to win approval for Sullivan casino
New entry in derby to win approval for Sullivan casino
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 28 March 2014
New entry in derby to win approval for Sullivan casino
By Steve Israel
Times Herald-Record

BRIDGEVILLE — Add another project to the short list of Catskill casino contenders that should meet one of the state's key criteria: to be able to open within two years of selection.

The Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohicans and its partner Trading Cove New York, which for years have been trying to build an Indian casino, will now go the much less complex state route to gain approval for a commercial, non-Indian casino off Route 17 Exit 107. This means the 330 acre site overlooking the Neversink River would, if approved by the state, be taxable land.

The tribe and Trading Cove have essentially completed the involved federal environmental impact statement for the project. The massive document - which generated critical comments on the federal level from the National Resources Defense Council - will now be used for the Town of Thompson review, which gets underway at the town's March 26 planning board meeting, said Thompson Planning Board attorney Paula Kay.

She was one of the officials who on Monday met with the casino project's local representative, Monticello lawyer Jacob Billig, to discuss the project. "Nothing has been approved yet," said Kay. "But they have done the bulk of the work. I know the project will be ready to go by June."

June is when the projects must be formally submitted to the state for review. Selection will be made in the fall. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he wants the casinos to be operating within two years of site selection.

This would be the third project in Thompson that could meet that goal — along with the Empire Resorts/EPR casino on 1700 acres at the old Concord and the Louis Cappelli/Mohegan Sun's project on a smaller slice of the Concord. The Nevele resort project near Ellenville is nearing the end of the environmental review process. Up to two Catskill casinos could be selected from a crowded field that includes at least a half dozen contenders.

Billig noted that the Wisconsin-based tribe with New York roots and Trading Cove - which owns the land - have "for 15 years years...developed strong relationships with the town, the county and the business community."

"We've gone through a painstaking process, which resulted in a final environmental impact statement and we look forward to working to with the Town to realize the goal," he said.

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