The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)

Towns, vil­lages agree to deals

VVS in talks for pos­si­ble rev­enue shar­ing

- By Nick Will nwill@onei­dadis­ @Dis­patch­nick on Twit­ter

As of this week, three out of fi­five mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of­fered deals by Oneida County have signed those agree­ments, while the Ver­non-Verona-Sher­rill School District be­gins pur­su­ing a deal of its own.

VVS Su­per­in­ten­dant Martha Group said the district has be­gun speak­ing with the county on a pos­si­ble agree­ment as well.

Oneida County Ex­ec­u­tive As­sis­tant James Gen­ovese said to his knowl­edge, the Town of Au­gusta, the Vil­lage of Ver­non and the City of Sher­rill have been the only mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to ap­prove the agree­ments offfffffff­ff­fered to them. Syl­van Beach’s board of trustees de­ter­mined at a June 2 meet­ing that it would not reach a de­ci­sion un­til a fu­ture date, stat­ing mem­bers needed more time. The Town of Vi­enna has made no for­mal de­ci­sion to the best of Gen­ovese’s knowl­edge.

In the fi­five agree­ments, which are al­most iden­ti­cal, each mu­nic­i­pal­ity would sign a waiver stat­ing that nei­ther the cur­rent nor fu­ture ad­min­is­tra­tions would chal­lenge

the Set­tle­ment Agree­ment, the Oneida In­dian Na­tion, or Oneida County on fur­ther mat­ters per­tain­ing to tax or land- into- trust leg­is­la­tion. In ex­change, each mu­nic­i­pal­ity will re­ceive around $ 58 per res­i­dent to make up for sales taxes, property taxes and other fees the tribe will not be pay­ing. The funds come from slot ma­chine rev­enue the tribe shares with the state, which passes a por­tion to the county which, in turn, will share it with mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that con­tain Na­tion land, pro­vided they sign the no- law­suit pact. Oneida County is set to re­ceive around $ 3.13 mil­lion quar­terly. In the Sher­rill agree­ment, it was de­ter­mined the city would re­ceive a pay­ment based on pop­u­la­tion per­cent­age. Be­ing only 1.3075 per­cent of Oneida County’s to­tal pop­u­la­tion, the county would give them around $ 40,859 per quar­ter. An­nu­ally, the state is set to re­ceive 25 per­cent of the casino’s slot rev­enues, roughly $ 50 mil­lion. Por­tions of this will be given to the coun­ties; Oneida County will re­ceive $ 12.5 mil­lion an­nu­ally and Madi­son County is set to re­ceive $ 3.5 mil­lion an­nu­ally. All pay­ments are to be made in quar­terly in­stall­ments. The ex­act amounts could fluc­tu­ate as the econ­omy and other fac­tors af­fect slot rev­enue. Gen­ovese said no for­mal deals have been of­fered to VVS School District, though the county has be­gun those ne­go­ti­a­tions. Gen­ovese said VVS is the only district be­ing talked to at this time; Oneida City School District, which also has some Oneida County land, has not been ap­proached by Oneida County. Group con­firmed the district is in pre­lim­i­nary con­ver­sa­tions with Oneida County re­gard­ing a deal, though there have been no fig­ures or other in­for­ma­tion set yet. Group said the district will con­tinue that di­a­logue with the county. Madi­son County will not be shar­ing its por­tion of the casino money, at least from the ini­tial in­stall­ment. Of­fi­cials have said they will use the funds for county projects, in­clud­ing bridge and road re­pair.

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