By Eli Ruiz
MONTICELLO Last Tuesday’s Town of Thompson Special Scoping Session for the proposed $600 million resort project being proposed by Entertainment Properties Trust (EPT) on the grounds of the Concord was short and to the point.
Planning Board Secretary Nora Houston called the special meeting “the beginning in a process which will take several months.”
Jim Tinson, CEO of Hart Howerton out of New York City, called the session “ the first step in the process of realizing the unique potential of this development.”
Tinson then lauded the project for its “unique potential for economic growth and development in Sullivan County.”
Development at the 1,538-acre site of the Concord has been dangled to county residents before, most recently by Westchester developer Louis Cappelli and his Concord Associates back in 2006.
The week prior to the special scoping session, Cappelli wrote to the Thompson Board asking that they reject numerous amendments sought by EPT to an already approved planned resort development on grounds that the amendments must first be approved by the “master developer” a title claimed by Cappelli and Concord Associates.
Nevertheless, the Thompson Board moved ahead with its review of the EPT proposal.
After Tinson went over the “many advantages” of the casino resort for Sullivan County including the jobs the proposal might bring he assured the board that “we are moving in a very expeditious manner.”
Nannette Bourne, senior vice president of the environmental planning and engineering firm AKRF, then spoke in more detail about “the next phase”: the preparation of the environmental impact statement.
Bourne presented a brief outline for how the group plans to put together the document, which will consist of two parts.
The first part, Bourne said, will include a generic environmental impact statement, while the second will be a site-specific impact statement for the first phase of development.
Also, a resolution to name the Town of Thompson Board as “lead agency” for the project passed board muster. Afterwards, Thompson Supervisor, Tony Cellini half-jokingly said, “Well, your work is cut out for you now.”