March 19, 2014 —
LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — At its March 13 meeting, the Cochecton Town Board passed a resolution urging that two of the four casinos under development in upstate New York be located within Sullivan County. Supervisor Gary Maas, Deputy Supervisor Ed Grund, and Councilperson Sean Nearing voted in favor of the resolution. Councilperson Larry Richardson voted against it, saying that his position of last year is unchanged. His position, that some negative consequences are an inherent and therefore unavoidable aspect of gambling, prompted his evaluation of the current proposal. “I think the county might be able to withstand the negative consequences of one casino. I don’t think it can do the same for two casinos,” he said. Councilperson Anna Story was absent.
Citing anticipated economic benefit to the county as a whole, the resolution noted that “Sullivan County ranked last in New York State in year 2013 job creation and was the only area in the Hudson Valley that experienced a year-over-year decrease in private-sector employment, according to Johnny Nelson, labor market analyst for the state.” The resolution also stated as justification for its proposal that Sullivan County has “historically served as host to some of the world’s most famous destination resorts and… was home to multiple destination resorts, which contained thousands of hotel rooms and accompanying amenities such as retail, entertainment and sports attractions.”
Obviously intended to forestall protests that the county is presently unprepared for the large population influx anticipated to result from the gaming resorts, the resolution states that “the local infrastructure of Sullivan County was always sufficiently able to handle all economic, social and environmental direct and indirect impacts of the many destination resorts, visiting tourists, and the employees who worked in these facilities.... ”
Maas mentioned prior to the vote that other towns have already adopted resolutions with the same or similar wording and that supervisors have been urged by county officials to adopt resolutions supporting the establishment of two destination gaming resorts within the county. There was no public comment about the resolution.
One other resolution passed unanimously at the meeting, this one to permit the Sandy Hookers Triathlon Club (SHTC) to hold its annual Split Second Racing triathlon in the towns of Bethel, Tusten and Cochecton on May 3. SHTC will provide insurance certification and will bear the cost of all law enforcement personnel required for the event.
In other business, Maas and sewer officer Michael Walters revealed that the findings and recommendations of a recent New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) inspection have forced the town to fast track a long-planned sewer plant upgrade. The upgrade will entail installation of a new pump and generator and will include the construction of new plant housing. The DEC inspector also suggested installation of ultraviolet lights, but Maas recommended consultation with an engineer specializing in sewer plant operations, to see if the same effect could be achieved by another method and which method would best ensure full compliance with DEC standards at a cost-effective price.