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Friday, 16 May 2014 10:25

ONLINE EXTRA: Mayor- No Challenge to State Gaming Commission re: Lead Agency

By | News
ONLINE EXTRA: Mayor- No Challenge to State Gaming Commission re: Lead Agency

SARATOGA SPRINGS - In a statement released late Thursday, May 15 Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen announced that her office will not challenge the State Gaming Commission regarding it's status as lead agency for SEQRA review of Saratoga Casino and Raceway's expansion. 

 

The Mayor's statement reads as follows:

STATEMENT FROM MAYOR JOANNE YEPSEN ON NYS GAMING COMMISSION ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING SARATOGA CASINO AND RACEWAY PROPOSED EXPANSION

 

“Today, we received a letter from the New York State Gaming Commission indicating that the Commission, with the New York State Office of General Services acting as sponsor, will seek “Lead Agency” in the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process in relation to the proposed expansion of Saratoga Casino and Raceway. 

 

After careful consideration and a thorough legal consultation, the majority of the City Council of Saratoga Springs believes that it would not be prudent to initiate a challenge to the Commission for “Lead Agency” status.  Based on the state law that governs the existing operation, and after looking at the 2006 decision where the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation denied the city’s efforts to be named “Lead Agency”, we feel that it would be irresponsible to invest a significant amount of taxpayer dollars in additional legal actions that are extremely unlikely to produce a better outcome for the City of Saratoga Springs.

 

As Mayor, my utmost priority remains the horse racing industry – harness and thoroughbred, and I continue to take great pride in having an excellent working relationship with Saratoga Casino and Raceway.  As result of that on-going relationship, they have brought this project before the City Council and the City Planning Board for public discussion, even though they were not required to do so.  Over the next thirty days, we look forward to listening to our citizens’ thoughts on this project, and we will be relaying public comments to the New York State Gaming Commission and Saratoga Casino and Raceway on behalf of the city.  We remain committed to working productively with all parties to produce an outcome that is mutually beneficial and that works together with the economic and cultural vision our citizens have for our city.” 

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