Last week, Wednesday, Gov. Cuomo announced the approval of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the state, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, and St. Lawrence County that sets the stage for resolving tribal land disputes and finalizing distribution of millions of dollars in gaming revenue to communities in the region.
The agreement provides that the Tribe may acquire from willing sellers certain lands in St. Lawrence County that will become part of the Tribe’s territory. Local governments will receive one-time payments of $2 million and $1.5 million from the State and the Tribe, respectively, and as an increase of $4 million in annual payments from the state share of casino revenues. St. Lawrence County and the impacted towns will receive payments from the state sufficient that hold them harmless from the loss of future property and school taxes for parcels that become part of the Tribe’s territory.
Gov. Cuomo said:
“For decades, the state and the Mohawks were at a stalemate. We can now look forward to years of mutual respect and cooperation. It is only through true partnership and a willingness to move forward for the good of all parties that such success is achieved. I congratulate and thank the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and our partners in county and local government for working together to make today’s agreement a reality.”