Yesterday, August 7, the NYS Gaming Facility Location Board announced its schedule for final applicant presentations to the Board and for its public hearings. Click for the Press Release. The “public comment event” for the Capital Region applications is scheduled for September 22, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Albany Holiday Inn Turf, 205 Wolf Road, in Colonie (see below for more information).
- Presentations: The four remaining Applicants*, from Schenectady, East Greenbush, Rensselaer, and Howe’s Cave, will make their final presentations on September 8, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Meeting Room 6 at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. Each applicant will have 45 minutes for its presentation, with the Location Board taking 15 minutes for its questions. update (Aug. 13, 2014): 1) The presentations will be carried live and archived at www.gaming.ny.gov. The logistics, parameters and procedures for the applicant presentations may be found here; 2) Capital Region applications will be presented in the afternoon session, with the Schenectady casino applicant scheduled in the last spot, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m).
follow-up (Aug. 13, 2014): Is 15 minutes enough for the Board’s questing? At first, I was skeptical that 15 minutes would be adequate for a 5-member Board, but this explanation to me in an email from Lee Park, the Gaming Commission’s Director of Communication, has me believing that it could be enough:
The schedule for presentations allows for questions from the Board members at any time during the presentation. The guidance document issued today provides guidelines for the applicants to plan on a 45 minute presentation with 15 minutes for questions. Those question could be interspersed throughout an applicant’s presentation. Please note that the Gaming Facility Location Board members and staff have been actively reviewing the unredacted application materials since they were submitted on June 30 and that there are several ways in which the Board can seek clarification or explanation regarding a specific component of an application. The RFA states:
“The Board, through its designees, reserves the right to contact any Applicant after the submission of its Application exclusively for the purpose of clarifying any item submitted in its Application to ensure mutual understanding. This contact may include written questions, interviews, site visits, or requests for corrective pages in the Application. Responses must be submitted to the Board within the time specified in the request. As applicable, clarifications will be treated as addenda to an Application….” (Section III.L., page 16-17)
“In addition to any authority set forth elsewhere in this RFA, the Board reserves the authority to: … 7. Seek clarifications and revisions to Applications; 8. Use information obtained through site visits, management interviews, the State’s investigation of an Applicant’s qualifications, experience, ability or financial standing, any material or information submitted by the Applicant in response to the request by the Board for clarifying information in the course of evaluation and/or selection under this RFA or otherwise;…” (Section III.M., page 17)
- Capital Region Public Hearing: Public presentations to the Location Board regarding each of the four Capital Region applicants (described in the Press Release as “day-long public comment events”) will take place on September 22, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Albany Holiday Inn Turf, 205 Wolf Road, in Colonie. Click for Google Map Directions. The Board says that “Each public comment event will be open to the public, Web cast on the Commission’s site and recorded for Board’s use in its evaluation of applicants.” If you have more questions about either event, contact Lee.Park@gaming.ny.gov.
- click for the Location Board’s Protocol for Public Comment Events
- As representative of Stop the Schenectady Casino, I (David Giacalone) have been given the 10:00 to 10:05 A.M. time slot at the Capital Region public comment event.
Our Stop the Schenectady Casino group will, of course, make a submission to the Location Board prior to the September 22 public hearing. We are not certain yet the form it will take, but are contemplating a relatively short Summary, followed by arguments and authorities for each point made, and an appendix with any charts or photos, or letters from individual opponents. If you have ideas for organizing or drafting our Opposition Submission, use the Comment box or the Contact Tab above to let us know. Individuals, groups and organizations may, of course, submit separate letters to the Location Board. The Request for Applications [RFA] states that the Board would announce the form in which it will accept submissions from the public, but has not done so yet.
As we quoted in June, the RFA also states:
[at 22] Public Hearing
“The Board expects to convene public hearing in each Region to provide the Board with the opportunity to address question and concerns relative to the proposal of an applicant to build a Gaming Facility, including the scope and quality of the gaming area and amenities, the integration of the Gaming Facility into the Host Municipality and nearby municipalities and the extent of required mitigation plans and receive input from members of the public from an impacted community.
“The Applicants for each Region and their agents and representatives are required to attend the public hearing(s) for that Region, may make a presentation and respond to questions of the Board or public comments as directed by the Board or the Board’s designee. Each Applicant must have at least one individual available who, based on actual knowledge, is prepared to respond on behalf of the Applicant to such questions or public comments that can reasonably be anticipated in regard to the contents of its Application, including the scope and quality of the proposed gaming area and amenities, the integration of the proposed Gaming Facility into the Host Municipality and nearby municipalities and the extent or required mitigation plans.”
[at 23] “Representatives of the Host Municipalities, representatives of nearby municipalities and representatives of any impacted live entertainment venue may attend the public hearing, may make presentations and may respond to questions as directed by the Board or the Board’s designee. Others may attend the public hearing and may make a presentation at the discretion of the Board. Before the hearing, the Board will prescribe the manner in which it will receive comments from members of the public, and may take the opportunity during the hearing to read into the record any letters of support, opposition or concern from members of the public in the vicinity of the proposed Gaming Facility.”
*_/ Yesterday, August 7, 2014, the Location Board voted unanimously to reject the application of the Amsterdam group, for failure to complete significant portions of the applications. See TU coverage at Capitol Confidential.