The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region
Mark Mahoney's Your Right to Know
by Mark Mahoney

Your Right to Know

A Daily Gazette opinion blog
An interactive forum for readers on open government issues.

SDEIS for Mohawk Harbor project now online

If you've been wondering about how the new proposed casino and harbor project will impact traffic, the environment, taxes, flooding and a lot of other things, then check out the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Mohawk Harbor project online.
It's on the website of the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority Scroll down the page slightly until you find a link to Mohawk Harbor Supplemental Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (2014). Click on that and the report will come up. Give it a few seconds to upload because it's long.
The statement had to be updated because of substantial changes made to the original development project off Erie Boulevard since 2010, including the proposed $300 million casino and a 50-slip harbor.
Don't panic when you see how many pages the report is (1,075). It's an easy to follow, well organized, searchable presentation from Bergmann Associates of Albany. There are a lot of artists' renderings not previously published, so this will help you get a good idea visually about the scope of the project.
Statistics are presented in narrative and chart form.
From a transparency-in-government perspective, this is terrific. In the past, you'd have had to go downtown someplace and pore over the document in person. It would probably be several inches thick, and you'd have to go back there over and over if there was something else you wanted to know. By having it online, the public can access it any time that's convenient. It's a very good way for government to distribute a lot of information to every member of the public in a timely and complete manner.
Public comment is being accepted until 5 p.m. on Sept. 22 at Metroplex. So if you don't get through the report in one day, you have some time. There will also be an opportunity to provide oral comments to the Metroplex board at a public hearing scheduled for Sept. 11 at 6 p.m.
So please check it out.
As always, you may post your comments to share with readers below. (They don't count as official comments on the project; do that separately.)
Thanks for reading.
-- Mark Mahoney

Enjoy this post? Share it!


August 16, 2014
12:02 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Environmental Impact Statements aren't usually humorous, but I had to smile to read at page 18 of the SEIS that "Elements of the architecture [of the amended proposal] take into account the Stockade Historic District."
If you're wondering about the RPI nuclear reactor, the SEIS says at p. 22 the "The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute owns and operates an existing building on site which is used as a teaching center for their nuclear engineering curriculum. For the foreseeable future, this teaching center will remain and aesthetic improvements will be made to the building and surrounding area to visually improve and screen the facility."

September 21, 2014
11:07 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I've commented before on the effect of having more casino's than gamblers but besides failures in Atlantic City search on what has happened in Illinois when they allowed more gaming.
The document does talk about the successful Des Plaines Casino and Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh.

The Rivers Casino owned by the same proposed developer of Mohawk Harbor has been in the news for disputes with unions but you need to search deeper to find out why. It seems the training of "documented refugees" from countries like Bosnia and Bhutan is cost effective.

From Gaming Today Sept 1st...
“ 'The best word to describe them,' Rivers Casino Vice President Andre Barnabei told Prine, is ‘outstanding.’ Name the department, and in nearly all of them, you have immigrants: food services, table games, valets, marketing. And many are becoming supervisors.”

It doesn't take long to research why Mohawk Harbor is a beautiful idea but a casino won't provide the anchor. I originally was just going to comment that I'd like to see one of the beautiful photo-like renderings represent our winter. In the 1075 pages there was no mention of snow removal. I suspect they expect to plow it into the river.
Bill Pytlovany

columnists & blogs