CANTON – The St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce has officially endorsed locating a casino in the county.
With a unanimous vote at its March 21st meeting, the chamber’s board of directors approved a resolution that supports both the idea of a casino in St. Lawrence County and the work of a local task force to make that a reality.
“We are in an exploratory phase,” said county chamber Executive Director Pat McKeown. “Nothing definitive is on the state’s drawing board but when it is, we want to be ready.”
In his 2013 State of the State Address, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed locating three new casinos in upstate New York to spur economic growth through tourism without proposing specific sites.
In response, county leaders formed a task force to promote available Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority land as an ideal site for one of the casinos.
The county chamber resolution says the county “is strategically positioned to attract not only downstate New York visitors, but Canadians as well as Vermont and Pennsylvania tourists.” It goes on to say that the OBPA “has available land adjacent to the Ogdensburg bridge crossing…that has the necessary infrastructure of water, sewer and utilities already on site.”
The resolution concludes that “the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce does hereby support the efforts of the Task Force to explore the possibility of security a casino for St. Lawrence County and endorses locating a casino in St. Lawrence County.”
The task force comprises representatives of the county IDA, the OBPA, the county chamber, and county government. It is chaired by Legislator Vernon D. “Sam” Burns of Ogdensburg.