Del Lago Press

Casino project on track

WATERLOO — The casino portion of the del Lago project in Tyre is 74 percent complete and on target to open in February, the Seneca County Board of Supervisors was told Tuesday.

James McKenna, vice president of Wilmorite, builder of the $440 million resort and casino on Route 414, said work on the hotel and parking garage is also on schedule and there are more than 600 workers on the site.
Del Lago General Manager Jeff Babinski gave an update on the promised hiring of 1,800 workers for the facility.

He said 1,500 employees will work in the casino and 300 at the hotel. Babinski said 19 executives and managers have been hired, some from the immediate region.

He described how schools are scheduled to train and hire the 480 table game and poker dealers the casino will employ.

“We have 188 signed up now for the first dealer school, which starts October 3. We hope to have 240 in that first class and another 240 in a second class that starts Nov. 8,” Babinski said.

“More than 2,000 people have applied for jobs, about 1,200 of them from within a 20-mile radius of the casino,” he said.
Waterloo, Seneca Falls, Geneva and Auburn produced the most applicants.
“It was slow to start, but we’ve had three job fairs and it has picked up. We’re ramping up our hiring,” Babinski said.

In other matters:

BIRMINGHAM — The board presented retiring Deputy Commissioner of Human Services Peg Birmingham with a plaque in recognition of her 32 years of employment with the county.

“We thank you for your many years of service. You will be missed,” said board chairman Gary Westfall, D-Waterloo.

Human Services Commissioner Charles Schillaci called Birmingham a “go-to person who gets things done.”

“She loves a challenge. Staff development was her passion. She’s been a great asset to the department and the county. I wish her well,” Schillaci said.

“I’m grateful to Seneca County for giving me this opportunity. I was never bored and I urge you to retain your employees. They work hard,” Birmingham said.

Westfall later said the county needs to look closely at what it offers in salaries to employees in order to retain them to move up to fill key positions when long-time administrators, such as Birmingham, retire.

MASTER PLAN — Supervisors unanimously approved a contract with Passero Associates of Rochester for $77,200 for a facilities master plan.
The decision to abandon and sell the Health Department building on Thurber Drive and to purchase the former BonaDent building prompted the need for the plan on allocation of office space at the DiPronio Drive campus.

ROUTE 318 SEWERS — In a unanimous vote, the board approved an amended contract with Barton & Loguidice of Liverpool for engineering services related to the county-sponsored Route 318 sewer system expansion and improvement project in Tyre and Junius.

The company would be paid up to $1.2 million for preliminary and final design, permitting, bidding, construction administration and oversight of the $10 million project, designed to spur residential and commercial development on Route 318.

ROOM TAX — The board voted 12-2 to introduce a local law seeking state approval to extend the county’s 3 percent hotel-motel room occupancy tax for another three years, effective Dec. 8.

A public hearing on the local law will be 6 p.m. Oct. 11.
The revenue goes to promote the county’s tourism efforts, provided by the Chamber of Commerce.

Board member Bob Shipley, R-Waterloo, said the county’s tourism advisory committee asked that the tax be increased to 4 percent. He said it passed the Assembly, but did not pass in the State Senate.

“Our state senator (Mike Nozzolio) did not advocate for this, so we will try again in 2017 with the new state senator elected in November,” Shipley said.
Nozzolio is not seeking re-election.

Supervisor Bob Hayssen, R-Varick, said the county receives enough revenue from the 3 percent tax and the increase isn’t needed. He also said he was voting no because the tax on summer rentals was not enforced.

David Kaiser, R-Romulus, joined Hayssen in voting no.