What you need to know
- The Expanded Gaming Act created the Community Mitigation Fund to help entities offset costs related to the construction and operation of a gaming establishment.
- Parties requesting appropriations from the fund shall submit a written application for funding to the Commission by February 1, 2019.
- The Community Mitigation Fund may be used to offset costs related to both Category 1 full casino facilities (MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor) and the state’s Category 2 slots-only facility (Plainridge Park Casino).
About the 2019 Community Mitigation Fund
Since its inception, the Commission has worked to help the Commonwealth realize the benefits of expanded gaming. These benefits include the thousands of expected jobs for Massachusetts residents in the areas of construction, hospitality and tourism, and the generation of millions of dollars in new revenue for the Commonwealth and its cities and towns. The Commission has also worked to help the Commonwealth avoid or minimize potential negative impacts associated with the arrival of expanded gaming. As part of the effort to help offset impacts that may result from the development and operation of gaming facilities in the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Legislature created the Community Mitigation Fund (“CMF”) as part of the Expanded Gaming Act. Pursuant to the Act, applications for funds are annually due in the beginning of February [February 1, 2019].
The Commission looks forward to an ongoing dialogue with communities and other interested parties regarding the use of these funds in the future.
Transit Project(s) of Regional Significance Grant – New
The Commission will consider funding no more than one project that offers significant transit benefits in each Category 1 region and one project related to the Category 2 facility. Any CMF assistance provided would only be for a percentage of the costs of any such project and that significant other federal, state, local and other funding would need to be available to pay for the costs of any such projects.
Reauthorization of the 2015/2016 One-time Reserves
Communities that received approval for 2015/2016 Reserves do not need to re-apply. The 2015/2016 Reserve will automatically be preserved for use in 2019. Funds may be used on a rolling basis when specific impacts are determined or the specific planning activity is determined. Once known, communities should contact the Ombudsman’s Office, which will assist the community in providing the needed information.
Specific Impact Grants
The 2019 Community Mitigation Fund for mitigation of specific impacts may be used only to mitigate impacts that either have occurred or are occurring as of the February 1, 2019 application date and any police training costs in Region A. In recognition that the Category 2 gaming facility in Plainville opened during calendar year 2015, and MGM Springfield opened earlier this year, the Commission will make available funding to mitigate construction or operational related impacts that are being experienced or were experienced from those facilities by the February 1, 2019 date.
The Commission has determined that the 2019 Community Mitigation Fund is available only to mitigate impacts related to the construction and police training costs of the Category 1 gaming facilities in Region A. The Commission has placed a per grant limit for the 2019 Specific Impact Grant awards of $500,000.
2019 Transportation Planning Grant
The 2019 Community Mitigation Fund program also authorizes communities to apply for a Transportation Planning Grant. The communities that are eligible for a 2019 Transportation Planning Grant are those communities in Regions A & B and for the Category 2 facility, including each Category 1 and Category 2 host community, each designated surrounding community, each community which entered into a nearby community agreement with a licensee, any community that petitioned to be a surrounding community to a gaming licensee, and each community that is geographically adjacent to a host community in Regions A & B and to the Category 2 facility. The Commission approved a target of $1,000,000 for the total allocation for 2019 Transportation Planning Grants with no more than $200,000 per grant authorized (plus potentially a regional incentive)
Incentive for Regional Cooperation
Last year the Commission initiated the establishment of incentive funding (beyond the baseline amounts stated in the Guidelines) for applications involving more than one community. These joint applications must specifically show the interrelationship of the communities in their endeavor.
Workforce Development Pilot Program in Region A and Region B
The Commission will also make available funding for certain career pathways workforce development pilot programs (Workforce Development Pilot Program Grant) in Regions A and B for service to residents of communities of such Regions, including each Category 1 host community and each designated surrounding community, each community which entered into a nearby community agreement with a licensee, any community that petitioned to be a surrounding community to a gaming licensee, and each community that is geographically adjacent to a host community.
Non-Transportation Planning Grant
The Commission shall make available funding for certain planning and technical assistance activities through Non-Transportation Planning grants. These planning funds will be available only to those communities that have allocated their One-time Reserve and received Commission approval for the use of the Reserves. Any community applying for planning funds would also need to provide detail on what it will contribute to the planning projects such as in-kind services or planning funds.
Tribal Gaming Technical Assistance Grant
Additionally, the Commission shall make available technical assistance funding to assist in the determination of potential impacts that may be experienced by communities in geographic proximity to the potential Tribal Gaming facility in Taunton. Such funding will only be made available, after approval of any application by the Southeast Regional Planning & Economic Development District or a comparable regional entity, if it is determined by the Commission that construction of such gaming facility will likely commence prior to or during Fiscal Year 2020.
2019 Community Mitigation Fund Guidelines and Instructions
- Acting Chairwoman Cameron’s 2019 Mitigation Fund Explanation Letter
- Appendix A – 2019 Cmmunity Mitigation Fund Guidelines
- Appendix B – Instructions for Filing Grant Applications
The following application forms are meant for reference only. Applications must be submitted via COMMBUYS per the below instructions.
- Appendix C – Specific Impact Grant Application
- Appendix D – Transportation Planning Grant Application
- Appendix E – Workforce Development Pilot Program Grant Application
- Appendix F – Non-Transportation Planning Grant Application
- Appendix G – Reserve Planning Grant – Tribal Gaming Technical Assistance Application
- Appendix H – Transit Project(s) of Regional Significance Application
Further detail on this year’s program may be found in the Guidelines or by contacting John Ziemba in the Commission’s Ombudsman’s Office. Mr. Ziemba can be reached at 617.979.8423 or via e-mail at email@example.com. The Commission’s address is 101 Federal Street, 12th Floor, Boston, MA 02110.
How to Apply
Applications must be sent to www.commbuys.com. The COMMBUYS bid number is BD-18-1068-1068C-1068L-33629. If applicants have any trouble locating this in COMMBUYS under the bid number, applicants should search by the agency name, Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
If you have any questions or concerns contact the COMMBUYS Help Desk at COMMBUYS@state.ma.us or during normal business hours (8:00am – 5:00pm ET Monday – Friday) at 1.888.627.8283 or 617.720.3197.
An application received by COMMBUYS by 5:00pm on February 1, 2019 will meet the application deadline. Applicants that are not part of the COMMBUYS system should contact Mary Thurlow of the Commission’s Ombudsman’s Office well in advance of the February 1, 2019 deadline to make arrangements for submission of the application by the deadline. Mary Thurlow can be contacted at 617.979.8420 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.