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Thu., May. 28
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Laind claims memorandum of understanding terms highlighted

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The terms of the memorandum of understanding between the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council, New York state and St. Lawrence County include:

■ Effective on the date of the negotiated settlement, $1.875 million of compact payments that have been placed in escrow will be paid to the county. Additionally, $937,000 each will be paid to the towns of Brasher and Massena.

■ Compact payments (est. $1.45M) will continue annually to the county and $725,000 each will be paid to the towns of Brasher and Massena.

■ The tribe will pay a one-time signing bonus to the county of $1.5M.

■ New York state will pay a one-time signing bonus of $2M to the county.

■ The county will receive an additional $4M of unrestricted funds annually as part of the settlement. A portion of these monies will be paid to the towns of Brasher and Massena and the St. Lawrence and Massena school districts.

■ When property is sold in the designated areas and transferred to the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, the assessed valued will be calculated and payments will be paid by the state sufficient to hold harmless the taxing jurisdictions (county, tTown and school).

Other Benefits of the Settlement:

■ Town of Massena will see NYPA enter into a long-term lease and, thus, provide funding for a new hangar at the airport.

■ The state will assist St. Lawrence County and the town of Brasher in authorizing use of motorized vehicles in the Brasher State Forest.

■ The state will assist St. Lawrence County and the town of Colton in authorizing the use of ATVs on Route 56.

■ The state will initiate an environmental review process for a Route 11 bypass, a four-lane limited access highway, around the Canton and Potsdam areas.

■ The state will, through the Governor, submit legislation authorizing the monetization of 20 megawatts of hydropower currently dedicated for economic development purposes and authorize these funds for economic development in coordination with the River Valley Redevelopment Agency.

Additional Benefits for the Tribe

■ The state will be responsible for unpaid taxes on parcels within the claim area and for assisting in clearing revert title to the appropriate owners. Owners will be responsible for future taxes unless land is transferred to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and is in the designated areas.

■ NYPA will make payments to the Tribe of $2M annually for 35 years.

■ NYPA will make available to the Tribe 9 megawatts of power at the lowest rate from the St. Lawrence FDR power project to meet the needs of the reservation.

■ The state will waive tuition and fees for Mohawks enrolled at Akwesasne who qualify for any SUNY institution.

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