Franklin County News -Land Claim Settlement Talks Continuing

Franklin County land claim settlement talks continuing

MALONE — Nearly 18 months after St. Lawrence County officials signed off on a memorandum of understanding to settle a longstanding disagreement with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe over land ownership, negotiations between the tribe and Franklin County are continuing, with little information being made public./ppFranklin County Legislative Chairman D. Billy Jones said that progress is being made in the negotiations, and developments will be announced when they happen./pp“The negotiators have been meeting at least once a month, sometimes more,” said Mr. Jones on Thursday./ppThe St. Lawrence Board of Legislators approved a memorandum of understanding with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in August 2014, authorizing the board’s chairman to sign the agreement./ppThe MOU includes a number of provisions, including the potential purchase by members of the tribe of about 3,440 acres in the town of Brasher and about 1,360 acres in the town of Massena, and in return, the county would receive additional funding from casino gaming compacts. Property sales in the affected areas of Massena and Brasher will occur only if the property owner is willing to sell./ppThe MOU, however, does not go into effect until it is also accepted by Franklin County./ppSt. Lawrence Legislative Chairman John Burke said he understands the time Franklin County appears to be taking, due to Franklin having a larger stake in the negotiations./pp“I’m sure the parties involved have been working hard to reach an agreement,” said Mr. Burke on Friday. “From where I stand, you can’t ask for anything more.”/ppThe land claim in Franklin County covers approximately 9,900 acres located in Bombay and Fort Covington, including the “Bombay Triangle” (also known as the “Hogansburg Triangle” in Akwesasne) in the northern part of the town. /ppThe state last year approved legislation authorizing tribal police officers to arrest suspects from the reservation who flee into the Triangle./ppBurke added that he believed there are more business interests in the disputed areas in Franklin County than there are in the affected area of St. Lawrence County./ppSt. Lawrence County’s MOU acceptance has not been smooth either, however. Disagreements on allocation of payments and standing led the town of Brasher to withdraw from the settlement in December 2014. In 2015, the town of Massena announced plans to sue St. Lawrence County./ppRepresentatives for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe were unavailable to reply to inquiries regarding the progress of the negotiations with Franklin County./p
Source: Watertown Daily Times Latest News
Franklin County land claim settlement talks continuing

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