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Fort Covington using compact funds for community development lan

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FORT COVINGTON - The Fort Covington Town Board decided at a special meeting this week to spend $83,603 in casino compact funds from 2009 on a community development plan, although they have not passed an official resolution on the matter, according to Supervisor Pat Manchester.

The plan was pitched to the town in late-November by a team of developers, but the board decided in February to delay action until the future of the compact monies became more certain.

The board will not be voting on the original development plan, but instead will vote on a scaled-down version that Ms. Manchester said costs around $85,000.

Although Ms. Manchester would not talk specifics on Wednesday, in February she had said the scaled-down plan will begin with a downtown building inventory, an economic feasibility study and a housing market study. At the November meeting, there was talk of the first year of the plan involving the development of a town website.

The studies will determine the date of certain dilapidated downtown buildings as well as what kinds of businesses could be attracted to the area. The housing market study will examine what kinds of homeowners could be attracted to the area.

The town of Bombay received the same amount and decided they will use it to start a housing development fund so residents can apply for a home repair grant. The town does not get Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding.

The money was paid because a clerical error led to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe underpaying Franklin County by about $334,000 in 2009 in compact funds. The money comes from the proceeds of electronic slot machines.

The Tribe has not paid compact money since 2010 because of a dispute with New York state.

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