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Ameristar, MGM Meet with Springfield Residents to Discuss Impact

Springfield, Mass. (WGGB) — Residents from several neighborhoods in Springfield met with 2 of the city’s casino contenders Tuesday night to talk about what the casino actually means for them.

In the Springfield’s Pine Point neighborhood, community members met with representatives from Ameristar to talk more about the specifics of the casino’s plans to build on Page Boulevard at the old Westinghouse site.

They know the casino won’t be in the center of their neighborhood, but they want to know what kind of spill over effects of building one so close might be.

Pine Point Residents Association President, Kimberly Dinoia tells ABC40 News, “We’ve seen the renderings, but we’d like to learn their overall plan, such as safety, traffic control, what kind of jobs they’re planning to bring through, and then the permanent structure.  So that’s what we’re trying to learn through this meeting.”

Ameristar Representative, Jonathan Little says, “There’s a lot of information that goes into this entire process and we want to make ourselves available to make sure the community gets the information they need.”

Little adds they are aware the deadline for their non-refundable casino consideration fee is looming and they will be paying their $400,000 on or before December 14.

Earlier Tuesday, MGM also met with residents in Springfield.  This time it was with the city’s Maple High/Six Corners neighborhood and casino representatives outlined their plans to build in Springfield’s south end.

During the meeting, residents expressed their concerns about how a nearby casino would affect them, for better or worse.

“If there’s great police activity in the south end, but it moves crime just outside the south end, we would be concerned about that. We’re also optimistic, that potentially it brings new homeowners and folks who might want to reside in our neighborhood,” explains Anne Kaindilis, member of the Maple High Six Corners Neighborhood Council.

President of MGM Springfield, Bill Hornbuckle says, “What are we half a mile away here? It’s a close neighborhood, and they have the right to understand what’s going to happen both from an affirmative and if they have some concerning questions.”

Neighbors say they we’re happy MGM took the time to meet with them.

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