EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. – A large crowd of supporters and those who oppose a casino gathered at the East Greenbush Town Hall.
The town board heard from both sides of the casino argument Wednesday as residents continued to have their voices heard.
Dwight Jenkins was among the many people who protested the East Greenbush casino proposal. Jenkins remembered buying his house on Thompson Hill Road.
“My wife and I used to babysit there when we were dating,” he recalled. “It was beautiful. It was quiet.”
Now he’s afraid his quiet, residential road will be ruined by a casino.
“It won’t just change the hill, though,” he said. “It will change the town. You put a casino that size into a town and you now change the character of that town forever. There’s no going back.”
While some don’t object to casinos, they feel East Greenbush isn’t the right location.
“They’re always set in a setting that’s away from any residential community,” Suzanne Aiardo said. “This will be entirely different.”
Others think opponents are afraid of change. Supporters also attended the rally to let board members know they’re just as passionate.
“That’s what it is,” Neysa Moleski said. “They don’t want change. Take a ride up [Route] 9 and 20 and you’ll see everything is a ghost town. Hello, let’s bring some money back into the town.”
Board members heard from both sides but didn’t answer any questions. Town Supervisor Keith Langley said they will answer questions at a public hearing on June 4.
The board now has to vote a second time to support the proposed casino because the New York State Gaming Commission has stepped in.