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Sat., Sep. 20
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Massena outlines spending plan for next round of gaming compact money

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MASSENA — Town Council members approved a plan Wednesday night to spend more than $154,000 in gaming compact revenue, a step Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray says the board must complete to receive the money.

Mr. Gray proposed spending $54,497.23 on several new “Welcome to Massena” signs to be displayed at entry points around the township, with the remaining $100,000 used to fund a study to make Massena a Wi-Fi community.

Ultimately, however, the remaining $100,000 was split 50/50 with $50,000 dedicated to paying a consultant to explore Massena Memorial Hospital’s finances and make a recommendation to the town.

“I like the sign idea, but I think we should set some money aside for a hospital consultant,” Councilman Samuel D. Carbone said.

“Do you want to split that 50/50?” Mr. Gray asked.

Mr. Carbone replied, “I don’t think $50,000 will be enough for the hospital.”

Councilman Thomas C. Miller suggested splitting the $100,000 in half, noting adjustment could be made down the road if need be.

“Let’s go 50/50,” Mr. Miller said. “Fifty for the hospital and 50 for the Wi-Fi study.”

Mr. Gray suggested looking at creating a “townwide or at least village-wide” Wi-Fi network.

“It would be a service to all of the residents, as well as a great attraction for businesses,” Mr. Gray said. “Why can’t we make Massena a Wi-Fi community? I have no idea how much it would cost, but it’s worth looking at.”

Mr. Gray said this initial allotment could be used to explore the idea and possibly help fund initial engineering costs for a Wi-Fi project.

Down the road, Mr. Gray said he could envision the Massena Electric Department possibly helping to maintain the service for Massena residents and businesses.

“MED might say they need to charge a fee for maintenance, but my guess is it would be a lot less than the $50 per month I’m paying for Road Runner right now,” he said.

Mr. Gray said the community’s current welcome signs have seen better days.

“Our ‘Welcome to Massena’ signs are old and pretty dilapidated,” he said, estimating $54,000 would be enough to purchase at least four new signs to display at entry points to the community.

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