Public Safety Underscored in Springfield Casino Battle
MGM, one of two companies competing for a casino license in Springfield, underscored the importance of keeping the public safe.
MGM reached out and won the endorsements of both the city’s police and fire unions,”If we’re going to bring the kind of tourism to this region and ultimately to the city, there will need to be more policemen, there will need to be more fire equipment and other assets to bear,” says Bill Hornbuckle, MGM President.
The unions say MGM reached out to them as soon as they came to town.
Both police and firefighters say an MGM casino in Springfield would mean hiring more fire and police personnel since the casino would bring in an estimated 20-million dollars in property taxes,”The only way any of these projects work is that there’s more police hired , the mayor we have now,over the years every mayor in this city understands how important public safety is to the economy of the city,” says Joseph Gentile, President of the Springfield Patrolman’s Union.
David Wells, President of the Springfield Firefighters Union says the city needs more firefighters,”The city of Springfield’s fire department has been stretched to the limit, we’ve had reductions over the years if you’re going to bring 20-million dollars of additional revenue into the city , property taxes which will have a direct impact on hiring additional firefighters, police officers and teachers,” says Wells.
Both local unions say they were impressed with MGM’s track record in other jurisdictions with local public safety personnel.