East Greenbush Residents Reluctant Over Casino Plans
Neighborhood negativity may be a stumbling block for a proposed casino development in East Greenbush. Saratoga Casino & Raceway and Churchill Downs have joined together in an attempt to secure one of the four New York State casino licenses due to be awarded, and build a resort on land in East Greenbush.
The proposal has been approved by the government of the town, although some concern has been raised that the members of the government thought they were voting on the quality of the proposal and not on the actual building of a casino.
Public Wary Over Development
Large numbers of the local community attended a meeting at Columbia High School to express their displeasure. One of the main issues raised was the existence of a summer camp for guides adjacent to the proposed development area. Concern was expressed that the resort would have a detrimental effect on this activity but developers stated that the opposite would apply; that they would support the camp and help to improve it.
The developers went on to dispel worry about other possible negative effects on the area such as increased violence and crime. They said that in the areas around their other casino properties no detrimental differences had occurred.
Focus on the positives of the $300 million construction continued with much discussion of the casino based, and construction, jobs that would be created. This would result in a long term employment solution in the area.
The community seems as though it still needs to be convinced as it is planning a protest at the time of the next discussion meeting.
Competition From Schenectady
Even if the community can be won over East Bush faces competition from Schenectady to secure one of the much sought after licenses. Plans for a proposed casino at the venue have just been unveiled and if the support of local government can be obtained a license will be applied for. At present there seems to be a split in opinions but several politicians and community leaders have already stated they have been won over by plans.
The casino is part of the plans by David Buicko for riverfront development and would cover an area of 200,000 square feet.
Talks With the Local Leisure Industry
Developers have already been in talks with Proctors Theater, and with local restaurant owners to allay fears that the casino would be in competition with them. It seems to have worked and there is definite support for the plans among local businesses.
Developers have also made promises to give construction and casino related jobs to members of the local community.
Who Will Get a License?
Either proposed venue has to obtain community backing to secure a license so developers for both projects are still a fair way away from getting to the actual building stage but at this point both plans are still very much in the race.
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