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Oneida County will use some of its casino revenue for arts and STEM funding

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The Turning Stone casino, operated by the Oneida Nation, opened in Verona, N.Y. in 1993.

Oneida County is using some its share in revenue from the Turning Stone casino to fund arts and science programs.

Oneida County is receiving a $2.5 million annual cut of the Turning Stone profits. That’s through a revenue sharing deal between the Oneida Indian Nation that runs the casino and New York state.

County Executive Anthony Picente has proposed using those funds for downtown development, infrastructure upgrades, public safety, and arts and science.

The county has put out a request for applications for a half-million dollars in grant money to fund science and technology training, often known as STEM. Eligible proposals would likely include programs at Mohawk Valley Community College or the county’s BOCES vocational program.

Another $330,000 in grants is available for arts and cultural programs. Money could go to the Stanley Theater or Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute.

Picente, a Republican, says in a statement he wants to use the casino revenue to move the county forward.

"We said we would take this new stream of revenue and use it to develop our economy, improve our infrastructure, make our community safer while expanding opportunities for the arts and put the future of education front and center as a top priority," he said.