Last night, after a lengthy public comment period, the town board approved giving the project its support, which Traditions needs in order to complete its application process to the state in its bid to secure a full-fledged casino license.
All trustees voted for it while Supervisor Rose Sotak abstained from the vote.
People on both sides of the issue spoke passionately.
Residents against building a casino at Traditions, along Watson Boulevard, say it will bring traffic, noise, addiction problems, more drug use and prostitution.
Pastor Art Penird of the Endwell Christian Union Church was just one of the speakers who said the proposal isn't a good fit for Greater Binghamton.
"Ministers like myself often have to deal with the aftermath of peoples choices. State sanctioned gambling is very addictive. Homes are torn apart by the 'I can win' compulsion. With gambling, alcohol consumption increases," said Penird.
Supporters of Traditions proposal say the casino would create jobs and give our area a much needed economic boost.
"I'm a supporter of the casino. I think the Walsh family is doing an outstanding job of putting together a proposal that will help our economy, not detract from it," said J.C. resident John Hussar.
"Having a casino in the area, first of all, it brings a lot of money into the host community. This money can be used at their discretion. They can use it to reduce taxes, to help pave roads," said Traditions owner Bill Walsh.
Walsh says the influx of cash into the town, county and others areas would be in the millions of dollars.
Walsh is also seeking to rezone three smaller properties near Traditions from either commercial or urban single family to planned unit development, which would give Traditions more flexiblity of using the land, especially if it gets the casino license.
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