Holyoke Designated ‘Surrounding Community’ to Proposed MGM Casino
HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — Holyoke becomes the first community that does not abut Springfield to voluntarily enter into a surrounding community agreement with MGM Springfield.
In a statement released Monday, Mayor Alex Morse’s office says that the city will receive an upfront payment from MGM of $50,000 and an additional $1,275,000 in mitigation funds over the 15 years, if the gaming company is granted a license and opens a casino in Springfield’s South End.
The funding will help address and mitigate potential impacts from a Springfield casino in several areas, including transportation, public health, and infrastructure.
The agreement, according to Morse’s office, also includes that hundreds of permanent jobs would be made available to Holyoke residents.
Groups like CareerPoint, Holyoke Community College, and the Holyoke School Department will help in the efforts to find qualified applicants for those jobs.
“Although the casino is not coming to the City of Holyoke, there is no doubt that we will be affected by one in our backyard. I am pleased with the results of these negotiations, as they will benefit and protect the interests of Holyoke’s residents, business owners, and the local economy,” Morse says in a statement.
Mike Mathis, MGM’s vice president of Global Gaming Development, adds, “Throughout all of our surrounding community discussions we have worked hard to get the best result for the region so Western Massachusetts can regain its urban core. Holyoke is a city we looked at early on as a regional partner. After several meetings with Mayor Morse and his team it became clear that the designation along with a strong and fair jobs agreement was the right course of action for MGM Springfield and for Western Massachusetts. We believe an MGM Springfield and Holyoke collaboration will benefit the entire region.”
Holyoke joins Agawam, East Longmeadow, Chicopee, Ludlow, West Springfield, and Wilbraham as communities that have been designated a surrounding community by MGM Springfield.
Northampton has petitioned the Mass. Gaming Commission to be designated a surrounding community.