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

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MASSENA — The town has received its first gaming compact money in more than a year, and Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said the check was more than twice as much as town officials had 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 that a full year of $88,000 checks would equal $1,056,000 — more than twice the $500,000 the town was expecting.

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 said he is required to submit a list of expenses the town is planning to use gaming compact money for to the Empire State Development Corp., something 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. 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. “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 for a Greater Massena and FISHCAP, with the remaining $435,706 being placed into the Highway Department’s budget.

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

That meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Town Hall.

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