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Massena receives gaming compact check; annual intake may be nearly double original estimate

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MASSENA - The town of Massena has received its first gaming compact fund money in more than a year, and Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said the check was more than twice as much as they expected.

Mr. Gray said the town is now in possession of $88,240 that served as payment for September.

“If we can extrapolate that out over 12 months, that’s very good news,” Mr. Gray said, adding a full year of $88,000 checks would equal $1,056,000, more than twice the $500,000 they were originally expecting.

“This is twice that,” he said.

While Mr. Gray said he didn’t mind waiting a week to allocate those funds, he suggested using $48,000 for airport marketing and $40,000 for the purchase of radios and other needed equipment for emergency services.

Mr. Gray also noted that he is required to submit a list of expenses the town is planning to use gaming compact monies for to the Empire State Development Corporation, something that he said he was opposed to doing, but will continue to do in order to receive the funds.

“We shouldn’t have to have a plan,” he said. Town Councilman Charles A. “Chuck” Raiti suggested formulating a plan for the entire year and submitting that, rather then spending time on such a plan each month.

“I would just send them a list for the whole year and say, This is what we’re going to do,’ and see what they say,” Mr. Raiti said.

Given the larger than expected check, Councilman John F. Macaulay said the town should be able to do some good things with the money.

“We should be able to make some pretty good contributions,” he said, adding, “All of that discussion about setting up reserve funds, I think we’ll be able to do that.”

Based on the projection of $500,000 this year’s preliminary budget proposal included $64,294 for the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce, Business Development Corporation and FISHCAP, with the remaining $435,706 being placed into the Highway Department’s budge.t

The board is expected to again discuss how to spend its gaming compact revenue when they meet on Wednesday to continue 2014 budget discussions.

That meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the town hall.

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