Niagara Falls Mayor James C. Galie and members of his administration will meet with county legislators sometime in the next two weeks to brief them on the chances of an Indian-run gambling casino in Niagara Falls.
No date was determined for the meeting, which was proposed as a means of heading off a County Legislature that would ask Gov. Pataki not to approve any Indian casinos until the voters of the state and county have had a chance to register their views on legalized gambling at the polls.
The State Legislature gave a constitutional amendment legalizing casinos its first approval last year. It must be approved again next year and be passed in a referendum to take effect. The measure also provides for a subsequent referendum approving any gambling project in an affected county.
However, a 1990 federal law gives governors the authority to enter into compacts with Indian nations, allowing them to operate casinos on reservations or lands the nations may acquire in territories they once claimed.
Two weeks ago, Galie condemned a letter written to Pataki by the Niagara Falls Coalition for Casino Gaming, which gave the governor the same advice the legislative resolution would have.
That measure was bottled up in the Commerce, Transportation, and Tourism Committee Tuesday on a 5-5 tie vote when Legislature Chairman Sean O'Connor, D-Niagara Falls, exercised his right to vote in any committee. He cast a vote against taking the resolution to the floor.
In other items from Tuesday's County Legislature meeting:
A resolution by O'Connor asking that the next state budget include $500,000 for the Mercy Flight helicopter ambulance service was sent to the Public Safety and Finance committees. The county's tentative 1997 budget freezes its Mercy Flight contribution at $30,000.
Spending of $72,500 of federal assets forfeiture money was approved for various projects in the District Attorney's office.
To fund the county's share of a state matching grant for improvements in Oppenheim Park, $25,000 was drawn from the contingency fund. Legislator Wayne A, Lenhart, D-Pendleton, said the $200,000 package would include a new playground, restrooms, and volleyball courts.
The Niagara County James F. Trott Office Complex in Niagara Falls was officially renamed the Niagara County Trott Access Center.