By Matt Youngfrau
JUNE 22, 2001 -- MONTICELLO New York State Governor George Pataki has announced an agreement to build casinos . . . in Niagara Falls and Buffalo.
This could set back the possibility of a casino in Sullivan County and has one official outraged.
"This is a wakeup call for Sullivan County," Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini emphatically stated. "The county needs to stop playing Tough Guy. The town is within inches of signing a memorandum of agreement. The county has yet to come out in support of a casino."
These comments drew a response from Sullivan County Legislature Chair Rusty Pomeroy.
"Tony's concern is to get a casino. I'm more concerned that we will get it and have a bad agreement. Instead of a benefit to the County, the casino would be a detriment, he remarked. "The county government has far and away the most at stake as far as financial impacts. If we are rushed to reach an agreement that doesn't adequately address what we believe the impacts will be, then I wouldn't be doing my job."
Pataki reached the deal with the Seneca Indian tribe. Pomeroy feels this opens the door for other tribes to strike deals with the governor.
However, even with the governor's approval, due to a recent court ruling, approval must still be gained from the State Legislature.
County and Park Place officials, as well as members of the St. Regis Mohawk tribe, are still confident an agreement can be reached for a casino at Kutsher's Country Club. Negotiations between the two sides could take place in July.