While a developer's play to locate a casino in Montgomery County went bust, there will be more opportunities for local officials to lend a hand to businesses to bring jobs to the area.
The state Gaming Commission's New York Gaming Facility Location Board in New York City unanimously decided recently to disqualify a developer's $245 million proposal to build a casino near Thruway Exit 27. The board said the application for the Montgomery County site was incomplete, and making an exception for the developer, Florida Acquisition Corp., would be unfair to the other casino applicants.
While this gamble did not pay off, we are confident there will be more opportunities for county officials to aid economic development.
Consider the case in Amsterdam, where Driscoll Foods, a New Jersey-based food distributor, recently established a distribution facility in the former Quandt's Foodservice Distributor's location.
Such development shows businesses can still work in the local area, but local officials need to cooperate to try and make the entire local area as attractive as possible to businesses.
Thankfully, there are some projects that show that is happening, such as Fulton and Montgomery counties' work on the regional business park project on Route 30A.
While the casino could have provided a quick, big boost to revenues, it also could have floundered. As more casinos have opened in the last couple of decades, there have been fewer gambling dollars to go around.
Rather than worry about losing a casino that was no sure bet, officials need to try and work together across municipal lines, cut taxes in this heavily-taxed area and work with businesses to reduce regulations and combat the "not-in-my-backyard" attitude that can kill development.
Such work may not get as much attention as landing a casino, but it will bear more sustainable commerce local residents will be happy to have.