LoCurto Proposes Ending Buffalo Creek Casino Agreement
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) A Buffalo Common Councilmember on Tuesday will introduce a resolution to rescind the city's contract with the Seneca Nation for the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino project.
Michael LoCurto claims the Senecas have not kept their end of the bargain. "The city is living up to its end by providing water and sewer services, but the Senecas were supposed to do millions of dollars of infrastructure improvements around the casino, they were supposed to work with the Convention and Visitors Bureau to market to out of town players, and they haven't fulfilled," he claims.
LoCurto says the Senecas have failed to make presentations and employment reports to the council, as required under the contract, so the time has come to pull the plug on the deal.
It will be introduced at a committee meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter issued this statement in response:
“Why would this legislator suggest that the answer to not enough jobs on a project is to halt it altogether? When last we heard from this individual, he wanted the steel girders on the site of our temporary casino taken down. They were removed, recycled and are rising again, with the expertise of scores of construction and trade workers, to form the basis of our $130 million Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, which will open late next summer after a winter of construction work.
“The Nation’s investment in downtown Buffalo, and its burgeoning Lake Erie and Buffalo River shorelines, also includes dozens of voluntary Seneca Gaming Corp.-funded projects that total more than $1 million. Has this legislator voted this year for anything similar in the Cobblestone, Perry Choice and Old First Ward neighborhoods?
“The Seneca Nation has excellent relationships with Buffalo’s leaders, including the mayor, and Council leaders like David Franczyk have had input into our work in and around the new casino. And we look to maintain those positive ties. But we also must note that the 9.5 acres of Buffalo Creek Territory is sovereign Seneca Nation land. What we do on that land and when is the choice of the Seneca Nation, its Council and Seneca Gaming Corp.
“As we’ve said many times, the Seneca Nation is operating its Buffalo Creek Casino in accordance with applicable federal and Nation laws and will continue to do so. As with our other casino properties, where some 3,700 people found good jobs, Buffalo Creek will help the city and provide 500 new jobs for the region’s people, many of whom live in the city.”