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Rensselaer Says Yes To Casino
RENSSELAER -- The Common
Council unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday supporting a Las Vegas-style
casino along its waterfront. It hopes to get the attention of Gov. Andrew Cuomo
and casino operators, who will submit bids early next year.
It should be obvious to them. Weve been working on it for four to five years and this is just recent for the governor, it's only been a couple weeks for him. We welcome him to come over and walk the site, said Council President Harry Adalian.
The city wants to use De Laets Landing, located near the highway interchange and Amtrak station, as the site for the casino. Adalian called it the only shovel-ready site in the area for a full casino.
It looks like they need 14 to15 acres for development that leaves about ten acres for condos, shops, things like that, said Mayor Daniel Dwyer.
Dwyer was the only speaker during a public hearing on the resolution. He took the time to discuss how he would spend the potential additional revenue from the casino.
We can start reducing taxes, which is very critical. Number two, the infrastructure, number three pay down debt, number four beautify the city, said Dwyer.
Dwyer said the city is speaking with several people about the bidding process. The Gaming Commission is expected to start taking bids on sites after the law permitting casinos takes effect on Jan. 1. A commission will then review the submissions and make a selection.
Saratoga Springs had been considered the front-runner for the areas casino after voters passed a referendum earlier this month. On Monday, dozens of residents packed a meeting to voice opposition to a full casino.
The majority of Saratoga and Albany County residents voted against the referendum, but Rensselaer County residents narrowly voted in favor of it.
I think they have their own drama up there [in Saratoga], said Adalian. I think down here is a better fit. Saratoga is all gambling right now and what this does is bring things further south and actually attract different people.