By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO April 1, 2003 Late last week, the Sullivan County Democrat learned that Sullivan County Legislature Chair Leni Binder, County Manager Dan Briggs, and County Attorney Ira Cohen were set to travel to Washington, D.C. yesterday to meet with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to discuss the two gaming contracts they currently have.
Joining them on this trip is their attorney and expert in Indian affairs John Jacobson. This information was confirmed by Binder.
The group is going to review each contract with the BIA, she said. Binder categorized the meeting as private, cordial, and informal. Also, the meeting will be used to set up a direct line of communication between the BIA and the county.
The county has two tribal agreements, both worth $15 million per year, once the casinos are operational. One is with the St. Regis Mohawk tribe for a casino to be run with Park Place Entertainment at Kutshers Sports Academy north of Monticello. The other is with the Stockbridge Munsee tribe for a casino with Trading Cove Associates off Route 17s Exit 107 on Bridgeville Road east of Monticello.
Both tribes need approval from the BIA and must forge a compact with New York State Governor George Pataki.
County officials have already met with Patakis representatives for similar purposes.
For a report on how the meeting went, please see Fridays edition of the Democrat.