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Progress on Casino Agreement in West Springfield


WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — West Springfield residents may soon know when they’ll be voting on the casino issue.

Hard Rock International and city leaders continue to try to hammer out a community-host agreement.

Hard Rock International new England President Tim Maland says progress is being made.

“I’m very optimistic we’ll get it done in the next couple of weeks,” says Maland.

Hard Rock has proposed an $800 million casino complex that the company says would create more than three thousand jobs for the area.

The two sides have been trying to negotiate an agreement that would have to be approved by the town council who in turn would set a date for an election in which the people get their chance to accept or reject the casino proposal.

Maland says the agreement helps both sides.

“That’s our goal for win-wins so we’re both obtaining what we really need and want , the city is certainly concerned about impacts so there’s a component of that money we’re going to be contributing to the city coiffures for impact on services like police and fire, etc,” says Maland.

West Springfield Mayor Gregory Neffinger says progress is being made on the community-host agreement.

Town Councilor Brian Griffin tells us that West Springfield stands to get $17 to $20 million a year in tax revenue from the casino as well as  more police and firefighters .

Griffin hopes the town council will approve an agreement by July 10th.

A ballot vote can not be scheduled until at least 60 days after council approval.

So under the best case scenario, the people of West Springfield will be voting on the casino issue September 10th, that’s the date of the Massachusetts Primary.


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