FLX Politics: Development for Tyre as del Lago goes up

The del Lago Resort & Casino isn’t a maybe proposition anymore. It’s happening. The construction is happening at a resounding speed, with the structure looking more complete by the day. However, it isn’t just the site itself that is developing faster than most would have fathomed. The del Lago facility hasn’t even come close to opening its doors yet – but the area has already seen a new Byrne Dairy, as well as a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts, which was proposed to land on the one undeveloped corner left at the intersection at State Route 414 and 318.Development is taking place where State Routes 318 and 5&20 meet. As the del Lago developers committed to upgrading several areas to accommodate the 10,000 plus, expected to visit the resort – and region on a daily basis.Frequently, the 1,800 construction jobs, as well as the additional 1,800 permanent jobs when del Lago opens are touted as major marks. Those numbers are nothing to sneeze at – and like nothing Seneca County has seen in years. Combine this with the money that municipalities, as well as the County will be receiving over the next several years as del Lago opens, operates, and thrives in Tyre – and it creates positivity like we haven’t seen in a while.While there are people who oppose development – like that of a casino – it goes without saying that in comparison – there are far worse things that could be happening. Just a couple weeks ago the latest Census data revealed showed that over the last five years – the region as a whole is bleeding population. There were exceptions – like Ontario and Tompkins counties – but both benefit from a certain amount of boutique-style luck. Communities like Ithaca, as an example, are attractive places to live. However, another recent report found that Ithaca was one of the ten most-expensive places to raise a family – in the entire U.S.The truth is that New York is not business-friendly. It isn’t a place where people are busting down the doors to come work, live, or raise a family. Taxes are unreasonable, people are exiting – which makes it an unappealing place for businesses, and the proverbial end doesn’t seem to be anywhere in sight. A business that can attract other businesses because of the tourism-like qualities they possess – is an overall benefit for the region.Maybe it wouldn’t be for a community that is already developed. But, Seneca County lacks development in a lot of different ways. We are strong when it comes to tourism, our wineries are among the best in the U.S., our lakes are beautiful – but as far as economic development goes – we are slow at best.Until now. A series of upgrades to State Route 414 are coming. Would those upgrades have come if there were no casino? Would the New York State Thruway terminal at Exit 41 be receiving an extensive overhaul – which has been long-overdue with the general traffic increase over the last decade? Simply put the answer is ‘No’ to both of those questions.Here are the upcoming changes to roadways in the area of the casino, as well as the surrounding communities:• The intersection at State Routes 89 and 5&20 will be expanded to accommodate more traffic. • The intersection at State Routes 318 and 414 will also be expanded slightly to accommodate the heavier traffic in that area.• State Route 414 is also being widened and the bridge over the Thruway will be expanded by two lanes. • New traffic lights will be installed at the del Lago intersection on the north side of the Thruway, as well as at the corner of the Thruway interchange and State Route 414.• An additional toll booth will be added to the Exit 41 interchange, as well.The work on expanding the two intersections is expected to be finished by the end of July. The work on expanding State Route 414, and the work that is happening nearest the del Lago site – should be completed by November. Plans are still being finalized on the toll booth addition. However, late-summer is the expected timeframe for moving forward with that project.A common plight for those living in this region, New York State, or the U.S., as a whole – is that we’re losing to other places, which are investing heavily in infrastructure. Some will say that we need to invest in these things whether business comes, or not. Yet, the truth is that if our infrastructure was going to see investment without cause – it would have happened before del Lago came along.It did not.Last week the region got a taste for the type of initial returns the region will see thanks to the del Lago Resort & Casino. The Town of Tyre, as well as Seneca County – both received a $2.5 million share of the license fee that del Lago recently paid. It is also estimated that once del Lago is up-and-running, the facility will bring $3.25 million annually for the Town of Tyre, as well as another $3.25 million for Seneca County. Add the economic benefit of more revenue for Tyre and Seneca County – in addition to the infrastructure upgrades, as well as the construction and permanent jobs set to arrive in Tyre when del Lago opens – and it is a recipe for success. Even the secondary developments on State Route 414 and 318 will have their own blossoming impact in the region.In many ways, the development of local roadways – in addition to the development of the del Lago Resort & Casino is the first step. A completely necessary first step for the region.

Also on FingerLakes1.com