Press-Republican

Local News

January 29, 2013

Exclusivity factors in St. Lawrence casino

(Continued)

AKWESASNE —

Besides the state, Franklin County and its towns of Bombay and Fort Covington and St. Lawrence County and its towns of Massena and Brasher also get shares.

But because the Mohawks claim the state broke the exclusivity agreement by allowing gaming machines at the Ganienkeh Mohawk Nation territory near Altona, the Tribal Council has not paid the compact partners any of their shares since the fall of 2010.

LOCAL IMPACT

If, for some reason, a casino is awarded to its western neighbor, Franklin County Legislator Gordon Crossman (D-Malone) said, it might be wise for him and his colleagues to ask the state to remove St. Lawrence County from sharing in existing compact shares.

“That would be only right, wouldn’t it?” he said, adding that “it would be interesting if St. Lawrence County said no.”

Smith said Franklin County “has been a good neighbor” to the Mohawks, “and we have no reason to hurt them.

“I’ve been working with them on land claims for 30 years,” he said, “and I represent their people on the reservation and their neighbors off the reservation.”

Email Denise A. Raymo: draymo@pressrepublican.com

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