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Hard Rock Host Agreement Signed, Council Works to Set Election Date

WSPFLD Host Agreement SignedWEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — A host agreement is being signed by West Springfield Mayor Gregory Neffinger and officials with Hard Rock Casino this afternoon.

Mayor Neffinger conducted a news conference along with the signing.  It started at 5:30 p.m. today.

We also have a crew on scene.  They’re reporting that the host community agreement provides $26 million in annual payments to West Springfield with a minimum of $18 million guaranteed each year.

The agreement also includes $40 million in upfront payments with a focus on public traffic and infrastructure along with new public and fire safety investments.

City leaders and the casino company have been trying to negotiate this community-host agreement for some time now.

Following the signing of the agreement with Hard Rock, the West Springfield Town Council will hold a public meeting at 6:00 p.m. to set an election date so residents can get their chance to accept or reject the casino proposal.

Councilors are expected to discuss voting to proceed without the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s suitability study which was supposed to be completed by the end of June but was delayed.

The Hard Rock proposal is for an $800 million casino complex and the company says they would create more than 3,000 jobs for the area.

According to Town Councilor, Brian Griffin the tax revenue from the casino will add more emergency personnel including police and firefighters.