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Concord + Casino =
A Man With a Plan

By Nathan Mayberg
KIAMESHA LAKE — July 9, 2004 – The redevelopment of the Concord Resort crossed another hurdle in its journey to become a new 1,500-room hotel with a 210,000-square-foot gaming facility, and 200,000-square-foot convention center with 3,000 residential units.
A scoping session Tuesday night – attended by Engineer John Saccardi and General Counsel Michael Kaplan for Concord Associates, LLP (headed by developer Louis Cappelli), the Town of Thompson Board, and an audience of about two dozen – was meant to allow the board and public to comment on the proposal.
Written comments will be accepted at the Town of Thompson Hall in Monticello until July 20, when the board will meet with Kaplan and Saccardi and possibly make additional recommendations. Then the developers will move through the environmental impact process.
The project is located on approximately 1,700 acres, and the developers are seeking special zoning approval. The Town of Thompson Board, which is the lead agency, appeared to have no problem with the project so far. Supervisor Anthony Cellini simply asked Kaplan to clean up the deteriorating property.
Town of Thompson Engineer Richard McGoey asked that the developers address the town’s density issues in their statement, to which Kaplan agreed.
Councilman Peter Briggs wondered what Kaplan’s client’s priority would be. He responded that the residential housing is first on the list. Once building approval is given, they plan to build 500 homes.
As far as the new hotel and convention center, Kaplan said that aspect of the project “would be helped by a casino.”
Sullivan County Attorney Sam Yasgur believed there could be an issue with spot zoning, which could result in the process being challenged in court. Kaplan rejected that claim.
Yasgur also expressed concern that much of the project is based on issues beyond the control of the local governments – i.e., a casino. He also asked that the property be cleaned up, calling areas of the property “eyesores.”
Kaplan responded that the property would be looked at right away. He stated that about $2 million has already been spent closing nine dump sites and in other cleanup efforts.
In closing, Cellini asked that all written comments be addressed to Town of Thompson Clerk Donald Price at the Town of Thompson Hall, 4052 Route 42, Monticello, NY 12701.

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