YAPHANK - County Executive Steve Levy (R-Suffolk) says he is in talks with the Shinnecock Indians to build a casino in Yaphank.
Levy wants the casino to be built on part of the 250-acre property known as Legacy Village. According to the county executive, the northwest parcel near the Long Island Expressway would be an ideal spot for the casino, and the land sale could net the county $15 million.
"We don't have a lot of time to stretch this out," Levy says. "Some of that money is already budgeted within this year's operating budget."
As News 12 Long Island has reported, Nassau County and the Shinnecock Nation seemed close to signing a "memo of understanding" to build a gaming site on the Nassau Coliseum land in Uniondale. Levy, however, says his bid for the casino should not be seen as a battle between the two counties.
"I don't think that were Nassau to get it, it would necessarily put the kibosh on Suffolk County," he says. "The Shinnecocks believe they can support two, and that's fine with us."
While some local residents say having a casino in the area would exacerbate traffic congestion, civic leaders say it would be a boon for the county's economy.
Talk with Tyrrell: Lea Tyrrell interviews Suffolk Co. Exec. Levy