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Legislature approves casino support

FONDA – The Montgomery County Legislature voted 8-1 Tuesday to support the idea of building a casino in the Town of Florida.

Voters statewide approved a referendum in November 2013 calling for the development of seven casinos in the state. The siting process is under way, and a 512-acre plot in the Town of Florida is under consideration. The Amsterdam Common Council voted 3-0 Feb. 18 in favor of the idea of a casino in the county, and the Florida Town Board endorsed the idea 4-1 Monday night. County legislators discussed a support resolution at last week’s meeting of the Economic Development and Planning Committee; the panel voted to send the resolution to the full board for action at Tuesday’s meeting.

District 1 Legislator Martin P. Kelly cast the lone negative vote Tuesday, citing both professional advice and the wishes of his constituents.

“Moody’s Investment Service has warned states not to rely heavily on gaming revenues,” he said. “Casino revenues have gone down 44 percent since 2006.”

In District 1, voters favored a casino by a margin of 52-48 percent, Kelly said.

“A 4 percent margin does not give me a clear path as to how I should vote,” he said.

Legislators had discussed the support resolution at last week’s meeting of the Economic Development and Planning Committee. County Executive Matthew Ossenfort said at that meeting that local support was very important.

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About John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.

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