Montgomery County

Board may boot Amsterdam casino bid

A siting board meeting today could signal the end of the line for a casino proposal in Montgomery Co

A siting board meeting today could signal the end of the line for a casino proposal in Montgomery County.

Meeting agenda documents released Wednesday show the board will consider disqualifying Great Canadian Corp. and Clairvest Group Inc., the would-be operator and developer, from contending for a casino license.

According to the agenda, the applicant did not physically file the application the way the board had previously specified and left roughly 80 responses in the application incomplete.

Before and after filing the application, the developers sought a 60-day extension to complete the casino application and a $25 million reduction in the casino licensing fee. A June 20 letter to the board formally stated their requests.

The board responded with a statement saying: “It is simply not feasible or fair to alter any provision of the RFA [request for applications] or make concessions at the request of a bidder. To do so would create an unfair bidding process for every other potential bidder and invalidate the RFA.”

The meeting will take place in Manhattan at 6 p.m., but members of the public who wish to listen to the proceedings can remotely dial in by calling 1-866-394-2346 and entering 6430805412.

The project has been a contentious issue in the area, with proponents and opponents organizing rallies over the last month speaking to the advantages and disadvantages of the casino. In June, the Amsterdam Common Council and Florida Town Board approved resolutions supporting a casino that would straddle both communities and sit near Exit 27 of the Thruway.

Montgomery County officials have said a casino in the area would create good-paying jobs, increase property values and lower property taxes. The developers promised the $250 million project would create 450 construction jobs and 850 permanent jobs with an average salary of $42,000. They also said the project would generate $11.4 million annually in gaming taxes to be split among the city of Amsterdam, the town of Florida and Montgomery County.

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