State Gaming Commission aims to take lead in Saratoga Casino and - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

State Gaming Commission aims to take lead in Saratoga Casino and Raceway study

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Saratoga Casino and Raceway says it moving forward with $30 million expansion project, but before they can do that, an environmental impact study must be conducted.

The State Gaming Commission has requested to conduct this study, and be the lead agency. But residents believe the city should take the lead agency status instead. Now, city council members are discussing whether or not this is a good idea.

The city hired Mark Schachner as its legal counsel, and on Friday he advised it will be a waste of time, money, and resources -- and that the city can even lose credibility in doing so.

In 2006, the city was in a similar situation regarding the casino expansion, turned down being a lead agency, and was shut out of the process completely. The mayor agrees that was a learning experience and the city is not going down that road again.

"Our city has strong feelings about this and we are hearing them. We will make sure our city is protected and preserved,” said Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen.

Mayor Yepsen has been communicating with Saratoga Casino and Raceway, and says the next step is to draft a letter to the gaming commission and try her best to get as much local control over the environmental impact study and send all public comments and letters to them as well.

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