Woman hospitalized during 5-0 vote approving casino application in Tyre

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June 16, 2014

The tension over whether to permit a casino in Tyre, a Seneca County town halfway between Rochester and Syracuse, has turned up a notch.

According to press reports, Lynn Barbuto was taken to the hospital after a dispute over where she was allowed to sit during Thursday night’s meeting. The county sheriff’s office says the fall was accidental, the casino’s opponents say she was pushed.

After the incident, the town board voted 5-0 in favor of Rochester-based Wilmorite, Incorporated’s proposal to build a casino on agricultural land near Interstate 90. The project would include a hotel with up to 220 rooms, a casino and six-story parking garage.

The vote in favor is a requirement before the state will approve the project. A local group called Casino Free Tyre is working to block Wilmorite. The group’s attorney, Mario Fratto, says the town should have waited for resolution of a lawsuit challenging a zoning change that altered the project site from agricultural land to what’s known as a planned unit development.

“We hope that the state says, ‘how could you select a site like this when it’s still up-in-the-air as to whether or not this law that they’re using to implement this zoning is even legal?’”

A judge has already dismissed the lawsuit but it’s now under appeal. Wilmorite is competing with applications to build at Traditions at the Glen in Johnson City and to convert Tioga Downs to a full casino. The final applications are due by 4pm on June 30.