2006-03-31 / Community

Pheffer Hosts Forum On 'Future Of Racing'

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer has announced that The Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Racing in New York State, of which she has been appointed a member, will be holding a hearing on April 5.

The hearing is being held to elicit testimony from fans and patrons of the racing industry to assist the Committee in shaping their Request For Proposal.

The present State racing franchise, currently held by the New York Racing Association, Inc., is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2007. The Committee has been charged with issuing a formal request for proposal for the exclusive right to operate and maintain the racing facilities Belmont Park, Aqueduct Racetrack and Saratoga Race Course. The Committee will then report its findings to the State Legislature, the Governor and the New York State Racing and Wagering Board together with recommendations necessary to implement its determinations.

"I feel strongly that fans, patrons, and residents of the Queens community should have the opportunity to voice their opinions on directing the future of racing in New York," said Pheffer. "Those who are involved on a daily basis, whether working at the tracks, patronizing or living in the same community, should have the ability to state what they feel does and does not work in the way the tracks are operated."

The hearing is scheduled to be held in Conference Room 213 in Queens Borough Hall at 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens form 5:00 p.m. through 9:00 p.m.

The Committee consists of Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer. Chair of the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection; Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Racing and Wagering; Valerie Keehn, Mayor of the City of Saratoga Springs; Bernadette Castro, Commissioner of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Patrick Barrett, New York businessman; Jack Knowlton, President of the Empire Health Associates; John Nigro, President of Nigro Companies; and Edward Swyer, President of Swyer Companies.

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