Lago Resort & Casino Opponents Demand Comprehensive Environmental Impact Review

Lago Resort & Casino Opponents Demand Comprehensive Environmental Impact Review

More than a month after a New York appellate court ruled that Rochester-based real estate developer Wilmorite Inc. should suspend construction on the $450-million Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre, opponents of the project are determined to take more measures in order to prevent it from being completed.

Last month, the New York State Supreme Court’s Fourth Judicial Department of the Rochester Appellate Division ruled that an important environmental review of the potential impact the gambling property would have on the area had not been carried out properly by the Tyre board members. This is why construction was suspended until a more comprehensive study is conducted by town officials.

Opponents of Lago Resort & Casino stated that the environmental review should be much broader and that they would like to monitor the process closely.

The $450-million hotel and casino resort was recommended last December by the New York Gaming Facility Location Board together with Rivers Casino & Resort and Montreign Resort Casino. The three venues are expected to be eventually granted casino licenses sometime this fall.

Despite the vocal opposition coming from a group of Tyre residents, who call themselves Casino Free Tyre, town officials are quite supportive as the multi-million-dollar project would generate more than 1,800 permanent jobs, tax revenue, and would represent a modern attraction that would annually lure thousands of tourists to the area.

Opponents, however, wrote in a 400-page letter to Tyre officials that if completed, Lago Resort & Casino would have a negative impact on the town’s water quality, rural character, etc. The extensive letter was drafted by a prominent international law firm.

Following the July appellate court ruling, the Tyre town board now has to repeat its environmental review. Board members said that they are doing their best to follow closely the state regulations. The town is to announce its decision on whether a negative declaration is to be issued by the middle of September. If one is eventually issued, that would mean that no extensive environmental impact statement should be complied and Lago Resort & Casino would be ready to be granted the necessary casino license.

Opponents have repeatedly pointed out that such a statement should be prepared together with prominent lawyers so that important environmental issues are addressed in a proper manner.