Here is another in our continuing series of posts about things going on around Rochester. Enjoy!

A proposed new $350 million casino in Upstate, NY is meeting heavy resistance from residents of the area. The anti-casino group Casino Free Tyre is using a number of different strategies to try to prevent the Wilmot Casino and Resort’s proposal from going through.

On April 10, the group filed a lawsuit in an effort to overturn zoning law changes that were meant to facilitate the casino’s development. On top of that, it has a petition signed by 173 Tyre residents against its construction. Tyre, the town where the casino is slated to be built, is located in Seneca County and had just 889 residents at the time of the 2000 census.

Les Bernal, Executive Director of Stop Predatory Gambling, has been vocal about his displeasure with the proposed casino, especially on the basis of using it as a way to bring more income to the state.

“The evidence is overwhelming that this is a failed public policy,” he said.

Bernal’s group is based in D.C. has the goal of ending the government sponsorship of casinos. He says the plan in New York, which badly needs new sources of revenue, will only promote unfairness and inequality.

“You have a state government standing up and encouraging citizens to lose their money on something they are guaranteed to lose,” Bernal says. “It’s a rigged game. They’re putting this stuff on Main Street.”

Residents have expressed their concerns as well.

“What’s it going to foster? Pawn shops, houses of ill repute, drug dealers,” said 50-year-old Richard Barner, who lives nearby on Route 414. “We don’t want any of that here.”

On the flip side, Wilmost proposal, at least from an economic standpoint, seems to be good for the region. Estimates say that the new resort and casino would employ 1,200 construction workers and 1,800 permanent staff members with an annual payroll of $50 million. As a result, it could help uplift and improve the community and the state as a whole.

Though the casino will surely give the area a nice facelift, there are plenty of projects that homeowners can do on their own to help upgrade their community, regardless of how they feel about the casino. For instance, a new roof will help make a home more comfortable, functional, and improve its aesthetic. Slate roofing may be a good choice because it is strong enough to stand up to the most severe weather, is waterproof, and doesn’t retain ice and snow. It is just one of many products — other than casinos — that can be used to improve communities.

Despite staunch opposition from Tyre residents and D.C. lobbyists alike, Wilmot is moving forward and submitted a million-dollar application fee to the New York State Gaming Commission last week.