Mixed crowd gathers in support, opposition to East Greenbush cas - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Mixed crowd gathers in support, opposition to East Greenbush casino

Posted: Updated: May 21, 2014 10:00 PM

EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. – A large crowd at the East Greenbush Town Hall voiced their support and opposition to bringing a casino to the town.

The town board heard from both sides of the casino argument Wednesday as residents continued to have their voices heard.

Dwight Jenkins was among the many people who protested the East Greenbush casino proposal. Jenkins remembered buying his house on Thompson Hill Road.

“My wife and I used to babysit there when we were dating,” he recalled. “It was beautiful. It was quiet.”

Now he’s afraid his quiet, residential road will be ruined by a casino.

“It won’t just change the hill, though,” he said. “It will change the town. You put a casino that size into a town and you now change the character of that town forever. There’s no going back.”

While some don’t object to casinos, they feel East Greenbush isn’t the right location.

“They’re always set in a setting that’s away from any residential community,” Suzanne Aiardo said. “This will be entirely different.”

Others think opponents are afraid of change. Supporters also attended the rally to let board members know they’re just as passionate.

“That’s what it is,” Neysa Moleski said. “They don’t want change. Take a ride up [Route] 9 and 20 and you’ll see everything is a ghost town. Hello, let’s bring some money back into the town.”

Board members heard from both sides but didn’t answer any questions. Town Supervisor Keith Langley said they will answer questions at a public hearing on June 4.

The board now has to vote a second time to support the proposed casino because the New York State Gaming Commission ruled the town must have local community support and a specific site before approving resolutions.

Langley said the board is being upfront about the plans and is giving the community another chance to speak.

“That site specific resolution will come on the heels of a public hearing, and we’ll have an opportunity to hear from the public,” he said.

The time and location for the public hearing is to be determined.

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