Monday, June 28, 2004

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Orange lawmaker wants more input in casino debate

Berkman, speaking
at last week's public
hearing in Monticello,
on the Mohawk
Mountain casino

Orange County legislator Jeffrey Berkman of Middletown today proposed a resolution that would call on the county and its municipalities to be named as designated interested parties in the environmental review process for the Native American casinos planed for Sullivan County.

Berkman is recommending the move in anticipation of traffic congestion when the casinos are built. “There’s no question that we have serious traffic impacts, both on Interstate 86/17, and the town and county roads as well that will be impacted once the anticipated bottlenecks occur on 17,” he said. Berkman would like the county named as a designated party, a 60-day extension on the review process and consideration of calling for an independent review process.

Orange County officials have already expressed concern that when the casinos are built, there could be a significant addition to traffic on the roadways passing through the county.

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