Holyoke Designated Surrounding Community by MGM Text Size
After months of negotiations, Mayor Morse is pleased to announce that the City of Holyoke has been designated a surrounding community by MGM Springfield in their proposed plan for a casino. This designation makes Holyoke the only non-abutting community to be voluntarily named a surrounding community in MGM’s amended RFA 2 application to the gaming commission. Being named a surrounding community ensures that Holyoke will have access to monies from 13 funds designed to mitigate potential issues that will affect the City. Money from these funds will address areas such as transportation, infrastructure improvements and public health.
MGM will also pay Holyoke the sum of $50,000 upfront and an additional $1,275,000 direct mitigation funds over 15 years, after its opening in Springfield. This will bring $85,000 annually into the city. The agreement includes a provision for Look Back studies which will allow MGM and Holyoke to revisit the agreement after the first and fifth year of the casino’s operation, and where appropriate, negotiate further compensation.
Aside from the host community, in addition to Holyoke’s surrounding community status, MGM has also entered into a written memorandum of agreement, providing hundreds of permanent job opportunities for Holyoke residents. Such efforts shall include working directly with agencies and institutions such as Career Point, Holyoke Community College and the Holyoke School Department to identify and train qualified employees and engage in community outreach regarding employment opportunities.
“Although the casino is not coming to the City of Holyoke, there is no doubt that we will be affected by one in our backyard,” Mayor Morse commented. “I am pleased with the results of these negotiations, as they will benefit and protect the interests of Holyoke’s residents, business owners, and the local economy. This agreement would not have been possible without the hard work of City Solicitor Heather Egan.”
“Throughout all of our surrounding community discussions we have worked hard to get the best result for the region so Western Massachusetts can regain its urban core. Holyoke is a city we looked at early on as a regional partner. After several meetings with Mayor Morse and his team it became clear that the designation along with a strong and fair jobs agreement was the right course of action for MGM Springfield and for Western Massachusetts. We believe an MGM Springfield and Holyoke collaboration will benefit the entire region.” Mike Mathis, Vice President, Global Gaming Development, MGM Resorts
Posted on January 13, 2014 by tromboletti