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County, towns will get 2013 gaming compact funds

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CANTON — The financial condition of St. Lawrence County, along with the towns of Massena and Brasher, will be helped by a flow of state-tribal compact money which some had questioned would continue.

“It’s manna from heaven,” County Administrator Karen M. St. Hilaire said.

The county has been notified it will receive $396,000 in compact funds — which come from slot machine revenue — for the third quarter of 2013, money it did not budget because of a long delay in receiving back payments. The towns of Massena and Brasher will each receive half of that amount.

Over the displeasure of some legislators, County Administrator Karen M. St. Hilaire included $1.5 million in compact funds in the 2014 budget.

The situation for 2014 was different than for 2013, Ms. St. Hilaire said.

For 2013, the county was at loggerheads with the state and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe so continued funding was questionable. For 2014, the outcome for the money was brighter because the state and the tribe reached a deal to negotiate land claims.

“I felt there was a pretty good chance we were going to be receiving this money,” Ms. St. Hilaire said. “I felt it was a pretty good risk to take.”

The county expects a similar payment in April or May for the last quarter of 2013.

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