Press-Republican

Local News

July 9, 2013

Bombay makes plans for casino funds

BOMBAY — The Town of Bombay is spending its casino-compact money on the fire department, road repairs and recreation upgrades.

It will also use some of the $1.875 million to pay for a Highway Department laborer for the summer, improvements to the security system at the Town Office and Town Court and an appraisal of land the ownership of which has been in dispute for more than 30 years, according to minutes from a recent meeting.

The Bombay Fire Corp. will get $46,500, which is about 5 percent of the town’s share of funding obtained through an agreement the state has with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which operates the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino.

The agreement allows the tribe to operate slot machines at the casino in exchange for splitting 25 percent of the profits with the state, Franklin County and the towns of Bombay and Fort Covington, as well as St. Lawrence County and its towns of Brasher and Massena.

The reasoning is that the counties and towns are most impacted by the casino operation, even though the gambling outfit lies solely in Franklin County.

$30 MILLION STILL OWED

No casino profits had been awarded since late 2010, when the Mohawks claimed the state broke the tribe’s eight-county gaming exclusivity agreement when it allowed slot machines at the Ganienkeh Mohawk territory near Altona.

Shortly after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he wanted to have non-Indian casinos built in different regions of the state, an agreement between the Tribal Council and the state was reached that reinforced the Mohawks exclusivity in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Warren and Hamilton counties and immediately released $30 million in suspended slot-machine funds.

Another $30 million is still owed to the compact partners.

Each county was awarded $3.75 million, and half of that was shared among the impacted towns.

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