By Nathan Mayberg
ALBANY February 4, 2005 This week, the state signed a land claim agreement between the governor and the Akwesasne Indians, which includes the St. Regis Mohawks, who hope to build a casino at the site of Kutshers Sports Academy in Monticello.
In exchange for a casino in the Catskills, the tribe has agreed to the following arrangements with the state:
Beginning in 2008, the state will pay the Akwesasne Mohawks $30 million in five equal installments. The New York Power Authority will pay them $2 million per year for 35 years.
The tribe will be allowed to purchase up to 7,000 acres of land in two upstate counties (not Sullivan) from willing sellers or by a voluntary transfer. An additional 6,400 acres may be acquired with the concurrence of the county and town.
The Power Authority will grant the tribe the Long Sault and Croil islands in the St. Lawrence River, as well as 215 acres of land identified as the Massena Point East Parcel.
The state will pay $2 million each year to St. Lawrence and Franklin counties due to the lands the tribe will acquire pursuant to the agreement.
The state will reimburse the two counties for unpaid real property taxes which have accumulated during land claim litigation.
The state will hold the counties, their towns and other tax districts harmless against any losses in real property taxes resulting from lands becoming reservation land.
The Power Authority will make available up to nine megawatts of power and energy for sale to the power corporation established by the tribe at its lowest rate.
The tribe will collect and remit to the state all state and local taxes in connection with sales made to non-Native Americans on alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, tobacco products, automotive fuels and all other tangible personal property (excluding traditional arts and crafts) and services by all vendors on or from the tribes casino in the Catskills.