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Holyoke Mayor Sends Invites to Local Leaders to Talk Casinos

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) – Holyoke’s mayor is inviting the leaders of several area cities and towns to “have a seat at the table” as he begins discussions about a possible casino in western Massachusetts.

Tuesday, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse sent letters to the mayors of Springfield, Chicopee, Westfield, Northampton, Easthampton, and West Springfield, along with the town managers of South Hadley, Southampton, and Hadley.

Morse wants them to be a part of the process and discuss the the impact of a resort casino in Holyoke or somewhere else in western Massachusetts.

In the letter, Morse says that “The arrival of a large-scale gaming project to any of our communities will have a tangible effect on all of us, so I am hoping we can come together to discuss one of the most important decisions to face our region.”

“I would like you to have a seat at the table when we discuss the regional issues and impact, as well as other surrounding communities, in order to have a better understanding of what is at stake,” Morse adds in his letter.

No date for these talks have been finalized, but Morse asks in his letter to let his office know if the recipient or someone from their office “would be available on Thursday, December 13 and Friday, December 14.”

Holyoke’s city council is set to discuss Tuesday night the formation of a committee to review any casino proposals for Holyoke, as well as the acceptance of $25,000 “grants” that were paid by two possible developers – Paper City Development and Eric Suher – which would be used to cover initial costs of the review process.

That meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in City Council chambers at city hall.

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