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Lake George seniors want town-subsidized gambling trips restored

Lake George Senior Citizens Club President John Herzog gives some instruction on handling an accordion to Lake George High School 12th grader Cole Gailor in an event the club held in April.  On Monday Dec. 10, Herzog asked the Lake  George Town Board to commit more support to the town’s seniors as well as requesting that the town-sponsored jaunts to the Saratoga Racino, discontinued early this year, be reinstated.

Lake George Senior Citizens Club President John Herzog gives some instruction on handling an accordion to Lake George High School 12th grader Cole Gailor in an event the club held in April. On Monday Dec. 10, Herzog asked the Lake George Town Board to commit more support to the town’s seniors as well as requesting that the town-sponsored jaunts to the Saratoga Racino, discontinued early this year, be reinstated.

— Local senior citizens aren’t happy their taxpayer-subsidized trips to a gambling parlor were discontinued — and they expressed their objections to the Lake George Town Board at their monthly meeting Monday Dec. 10.

A dozen seniors expressed their dissatisfaction that they are no longer driven monthly at the expense of the town to the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, commonly known as the Saratoga Racino.

“Our seniors enjoy and look forward to these Racino trips,” Lake George Senior Citizens Club President John Herzog said to the town board. “Transportation for the elderly is vital.”

Under the previous town administration, the town provided its diesel trolley for seniors’ trips to the Racino and other outings, Herzog said.

“Other communities support their seniors,” he said, “But we’re moving backward.

Herzog chided the board that they were the most affluent municipality in the region, yet the town board’s budgetary allocation for seniors was lower than other towns — including Queensbury — which he said earmarks 10 times as much for its elderly.

“Give us back our Racino trips,” he said. “Your senior citizens are worth it.”

Lake George Town Board member Fran Heinrich replied that while only a few seniors sought to attend the Racino, thousands of other town citizens wanted their property taxes kept as low as possible.

“We represent 3,700 people,” she said, noting that many property owners experienced financial stress paying their taxes.

“Some of our residents can’t pay their taxes, their health insurance, or tuition for their children to go to ACC,” she said.

Mentioning the insurance and liability problems with the town transporting seniors to remote destinations, Heinrich suggested that the seniors carpool in various club members’ cars. But several seniors replied that they can’t obtain a group discount that way, and they wanted to socialize on the way to the Racino.

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