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Brasher plots use of latest casino gaming compact check

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BRASHER FALLS - The largest chunk of Brasher’s latest casino gaming compact check will be put toward infrastructure.

The town will be receiving $154,497.23 for the first quarter of 2014, and councilmen agreed this week to spend $52,100 on infrastructure upgrades to Munson and Maple Ridge roads to improve safety and traffic flow. Town Supervisor M. James Dawson noted that both the roads wash out every year and the situation needs to be addressed.

“I talked to Larry (Highway Superintendent Larry Hewlett) about road projects,” he said.

Councilmen also agreed to dedicate $30,000 for infrastructure improvements to Hopson Road for potential economic development of property that was once scheduled to be race track property.

“Pat Curran bought the old race track land. He’s got something going there, so we need to put a culvert in there,” Mr. Dawson said, noting that Mr. Curran’s work could spur economic development in that area.

Among the other items on the list were $30,000 to make improvements to the Helena Water District, and $22,397.23 that will be dedicated for the Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce Winter Carnival, Christmas Downtown Brasher Festival, banners for promoting local businesses and advertising of local events, Christmas decorations for the four hamlets, and an open house at the new town garage on County Route 53.

Mr. Dawson said some of their current Christmas decorations are getting “pretty ratty” and needed to be replaced. The Christmas Downtown celebration could include fireworks over the river from Jellybean’s Riverside Campground as well as other traditional events such as the Christmas tree lighting.

The highway garage open house is tentatively scheduled for 1-3 p.m. Sept. 27, and would include invites to town supervisors and highway superintendents from around the region, as well as members of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and representatives from the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort.

“We can let the townspeople come and see their new garage. We can let people wander around and have some punch and cookies,” Mr. Dawson said.

At Councilman John M. Keenan’s suggestion, town officials will also spend $20,000 for trail improvement and maintenance for snowmobiles and multi-use recreational trails.

“I’d like to see $20,000 for trails,” Mr. Keenan said, which he suggested could encourage tourism.

He said one road from Shady City to the CC Dam could be addressed with the funding.

“If it’s open, people are going to use it. If we’re going to do tourism, put money toward that,” Mr. Keenan said.

He said the trail currently sits under water because it has no ditches, but that could be remedied.

“If water goes to the creek, there goes the problem. This is a job I think we can get done this year,” Mr. Keenan suggested.

Councilmen passed a resolution supporting the use of the monies, which was forwarded to county officials on Thursday. The expenditures must be approved by Empire State Development.

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