Did Casino Deny Communities Revenue Funds?

November 3, 2011 Updated Nov 3, 2011 at 8:18 AM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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November 3, 2011 Updated Nov 3, 2011 at 8:18 AM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - The state and communities counting on money from the Seneca Nation casino revenue funds thought a payout was coming.

The Seneca Council put a halt on announcing a deal that would give some Western New York cities millions of dollars in back casino revenue payments Wednesday night.

Cities like Niagara Falls, Salamanca, and Buffalo were slotted to receive part of the $70 million that was expected to be released by the Seneca Nation.

The money has been held up for more than two years after a dispute between the Seneca Nation and New York State. The tribe claims that the state has violated the terms of their original compact.

Officials in these cities said they were relying on the money. Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said he needs the funds to keep essential services and events going strong. Places like Salamanca said they need the money to keep their city afloat.

"The city in the past, has budgeted roughly $17 million, that's a conservative estimate, so it would effect our paving roads and it will effect our ability to hold concerts downtown. The City of Niagara Falls hopes the parties are going to come to a mutually acceptable resolve," Mayor Dyster said.

The Seneca's have withheld more than $330 million from the state since 2009. The state is hopeful something can still be worked out. state officials said they want the cities to get the funding they rely on from the casino revenue.

The Seneca Nation declined to comment about the issue Wednesday. They are planning to make a statement later today.