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Late actions as casino application deadline approaches

Updated: 06/28/2014 9:35 AM
Created: 06/27/2014 4:42 PM WNYT.com
By: Bill Lambdin

RENSSELAER COUNTY - Rensselaer Mayor Daniel Dwyer says he's heard from five people in his city of 9,000 who oppose the casino proposed for DeLaet's Landing along the Hudson River.

There appears to be a lot more opposition to the proposal for neighboring East Greenbush.

Some citizens there are still angry over being excluded from a meeting that was supposed to be public.

That's one of the causes of action in their lawsuit.

"Government is required to make those certain accommodations to enable the public to be able to view the proceedings and before the meeting even started they announced that there wasn't enough room and if you're not in the room, sorry," said the attorney for East Greenbush casino opponents, Jeffrey Meyer.

Casino representative Morgan Hook described the lawsuit as silly and meritless in a written statement.

How much significance the Gaming Commission attaches to it remains to be determined, but an active lawsuit alleging the town board failed to follow proper meeting procedures and failed to take a hard look at any of the environmental or economic impacts certainly would not help the East Greenbush proposal.

Other possible locations for a Capital Region casino could already have stronger economic arguments.

"We're 66% over here, the highest in the state, of land that's not taxed," said Rensselaer Mayor Daniel Dwyer. "We've got the highest unemployment rate around here. The lowest income around here."

The state courts aren't noted for moving very quickly.

The lawyer for the East Greenbush opponents estimated their matter could be heard in six months.

That's assuming it survives action from casino developers.

In addition to Rensselaer, Schenectady, Amsterdam and Howe Caverns also have interest in the casino license, without any pending lawsuits.

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