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Fri., Oct. 9
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Massena town board allocates first allotment of gaming compact $


MASSENA — With a check for $88,240.81 waiting for the town of Massena, Town Council members accepted a plan Wednesday on how to spend that money — something they had to do before actually receiving the check from the Mohawk gaming compact.

The board voted to submit a plan calling for the check to be divided among five causes, although the money wasn’t allocated without discussion on the matter.

Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray proposed giving $15,000 to the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena to help offset the $30,000 the town had promised the organization, but was unable to provide for the current fiscal year.

Mr. Gray also proposed providing $6,000 to FISHCAP, $35,000 to emergency services, $20,000 to the Downtown Revitalization Committee and the remaining $8,240.81 for airport marketing.

The funds for emergency services will be split between the rescue squad and the fire department, with the rescue squad receiving the $1,400 it requested to purchase a Stokes basket and the remainder of the money going to the fire department for radio upgrades and a new thermal imaging camera.

With the airport marketing money, Mr. Gray said, “Primarily what I’m look at is better signage.”

He also said he would like to see the town join Cape Air for some marketing and possibly billboards that would promote both Cape Air and the Massena Airport, “whether it be here or on the Canadian side.”

The item that garnered the most discussion was the funding for the Downtown Revitalization Committee.

Councilman Charles A. Raiti said he was a little leery of giving money to the committee after being approached for funding to put a fountain downtown.

“I’m hesitant for that reason. If that’s what this is for, I would rather give that money to the people who were just here,” he said, referring to the BDC, which requested some gaming compact funds to help finish a railroad project at its industrial park.

Mr. Gray assured Mr. Raiti that the money would not be used for a fountain.

“They haven’t given me specifics, but we would ask for that before we gave them money,” he said.

Town Bookkeeper Nancy A. Fregoe also noted the budget presented to the board by the BDC assumed it would receive a $60,000 contribution from the village.

Mr. Gray said that in order to receive the compact money,the town first must submit a plan on how to spend it to the state.

“This is just a plan,” he said. “I’m sure if we said we were going to reallocate the money to the railroad, they wouldn’t have a problem with that.”

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