Cicero officially opposes racino

— A decision by the Onondaga County Legislature to pass a resolution in support of a proposed “racino” met formal opposition by the Cicero Town Board on Wednesday.

On Dec. 6, 2011, the legislature voted to approve developer Tom Wilmot’s proposal for a video lottery facility to be built at what used to be the Hancock Air Force Base. The vote passed without any input from the Cicero Town Board or the Cicero Planning Board. In response, the board passed a resolution Sept. 26 asking the legislature to repeal its resolution and to “request that no further consideration of a video lottery facility in the town of Cicero be taken by the Onondaga County Legislature without a specific resolution of support by the Cicero Town Board.”

Councilor Lynn Jennings read a statement from the board addressing Resolution #544, the legislature’s resolution supporting the racino.

“To date, the proposed developer has not made a public presentation of the proposed video lottery facility to the Cicero Town Board or the Cicero Planning Board to address important issues, such as zoning, traffic, public safety, and environmental concerns that would impact the Town of Cicero taxpayers,” Jennings read. “Therefore the town board of Cicero requests that the Onondaga County legislature repeal resolution #544 dated Dec. 6, 2011 since there has been no resolution support from the Cicero Town Board.”

No other board members made any comments and the resolution carried unanimously.

The resolution caused a stir in the community after it was passed in December, prompting hundreds of community members to sign a petition requesting a public hearing to address the issue, but Wednesday’s resolution passed without drama or flair. Tom Beaulieu, former chairman of the Onondaga County Conservative Party, was the only Cicero resident to make a comment. He wrote a letter to the board addressing the issue, which he read at the meeting.

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