Thursday, February 25, 2005

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Orange County Legislature Democrats want county to have more input on casinos

Berkman, testifying
last year at a casino
forum in Sullivan
County. Church
spoke at the same

The Democratic caucus of the Orange County Legislature has written to fellow Democrat, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, asking him to hold in Orange County one of three Assembly hearings on the impacts of casinos to be built in Sullivan County.

In a letter to Silver, signed by all eight Democratic Orange County lawmakers, they said it is “imperative” to residents of Orange County that an open public hearing be held in Orange County.

One of the signers of the letter, legislator Jeffrey Berkman, said they are concerned about traffic and pollution on New York Route 17, which is going to be converted to I-86.

“Our Orange county planning commissioner (David Church), has testified that there is literally tens of thousands of vehicles added on to the flow of traffic and we feel that it is appropriate for policy makers to think about these negative impacts ht these casinos will bring along with the positive impacts,” he said.

The Orange County Legislature Democrats said impacts of the casinos will be far reaching since “the vast majority of future casino patrons from New York City and Long Island will be utilizing our transportation network.”


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