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Chamber stop short of endorsing casino idea for Ogdensburg

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The Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce is erring on the side of both political correctness and its own bylaws by not taking a stand on the possibility of a gambling casino in Ogdensburg.

The chamber’s board of directors won’t endorse a suggestion that the casino be built on a 10.3-acre parcel of land that houses the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s Bridge Plaza administrative building. The chamber’s office is there, too.

Chamber Executive Director Sandra M. Porter said Tuesday that the recent proposal by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to locate three non-Indian casinos in upstate New York might be considered a political issue.

The campaign to locate a casino in Ogdensburg, the board believes, is too close for comfort to the chamber bylaw that forbids the organization from taking stands on political issues.

“While we didn’t feel that it is a political issue, we don’t want it to be misconstrued as a political issue,” Ms. Porter said. “But we do support all new businesses.”

Chamber President Lori A. Smithers agreed it was better and more appropriate to always support a new business.

“It’s political,” she said of the casino. “Everything is political.”

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