By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO October 10, 2003 On Wednesday, the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Town of Thompson Planning Board held their scoping session on the proposed St. Regis Mohawk/Park Place Entertainment casino at Kutshers Sports Academy in Monticello.
More than 60 people came out for the session, which is the first step in the federal environmental review process. Representatives were on hand from the tribe, Park Place, Sullivan County, and the town.
We will do our best to look at all impacts, stated BIA representative Jim Harriman. This is the Federal EIS [Environmental Impact Statement]. Im sure many of you have been through the state review. We will be the lead agency, with the Thompson Planning Board.
The tribe is looking to acquire 66 acres of land in trust. They are looking to build a complex to be called the Mohawk Mountain Resort and Casino. The project consists of a 750-room hotel, a 450,000-square-foot casino and support area, a 2,000-seat theater and several restaurants.
The BIA announced that the tribe had made two major changes to their plans regarding wastewater treatment and the drinking water. Instead of being dealt with off-site, they will now be treated on-site.
Over a half-hour period, several comments were made and will become a part of the final statement.
Comments will be accepted until October 21. The draft EIS is expected to be completed by November 1 and will be available for public review and comment for 45 days. The final EIS is hoped to be completed by January 15, 2004, with a decision issued by March 1, 2004.
Comments can be mailed to the BIA c/o Franklin Keel, Regional Director, Eastern Regional Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 711 Stewarts Ferry Pike, Nashville, Tennessee 37214 or faxed to (615) 467-1701.