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.
  • Deadline for the upcoming Community Mitigation Fund round is 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

The Commission is in the process of developing the Guidelines for the 2019 CMF.  Applications for the program are due February 1, 2019.  The Commission anticipates issuing new Guidelines by the beginning of December 2018.  Please check here for further information about the 2019 CMF and for details on opportunities to comment on the new 2019 Guidelines.

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 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).

Over the next few years while the gaming facilities are being constructed and particularly when the facilities are operational, the Community Mitigation Fund will play a pivotal role in helping communities and others address impacts.  The Commission looks forward to an ongoing dialogue with communities and other interested parties regarding the use of these funds in the future.  Once Category 1 (full casino) facilities are operational, significant new funds will be deposited annually into the Community Mitigation Fund.  However, at least through 2018, the Community Mitigation Fund will need to rely on one-time funds deposited by gaming licensees as part of their gaming license fees.

About the 2018 Community Mitigation Fund

(Application deadline was February 1, 2018)

2018 Funds for Mitigation of Specific Impacts

The 2018 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, 2018 application date.  The 2018 Community Mitigation Fund is available only to mitigate impacts related to the construction of Category 1 gaming facilities and police training costs needed in advance of the opening of such facilities.  It is not intended to fund the mitigation of specific impacts already being funded in a host or surrounding Community Agreement.  For entities impacted by the Category 2 Plainridge Facility, the Commission will make available up to $500,000 in total for applications for the mitigation of operational or construction impacts.

2018 Transportation Planning Grant

The 2018 Community Mitigation Fund program also authorizes communities to apply for a 2018 Transportation Planning Grant.  The communities that are eligible to receive funding from the Community Mitigation Fund are those in Regions A & B and for the Category 2 facility, including each Category 1 and Category 2 host community and each designated surrounding community, each community which entered into a nearby community agreement with a licensee, and 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 to assist with non-transportation planning needs through in Non-Transportation Planning grants of up to $50,000 per community.  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.

Incentive for Regional Cooperation

In order to further regional cooperation the Commission recently approved establishment of Regional Planning Incentive Awards for Transportation Planning and Non Transportation Planning grant applications involving more than one community.  The amount of potential Regional Planning Incentive Award grants may increase depending upon the number of communities involved in a joint project with a maximum Regional Planning Incentive Award of $50,000 for Transportation Planning Grants and $10,000 for Non-Transportation Planning Grants shared between applicant communities.

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.

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 2018.

Re-authorization 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 2018.  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.

To read the full guidelines for the 2018 Community Mitigation Fund, click here.

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 john.s.ziemba@state.ma.us.  The Commission’s address is 101 Federal Street, 12th Floor, Boston, MA 02110.

2018 Community Mitigation Fund Awards

A Community Mitigation review team conducted a comprehensive review of all applications to ensure compliance with the 2018 guidelines. The review team made recommendations to the Commission and those recommendations were discussed in a series of public meetings. Based on those discussions, the Commission voted to award the following grants:

Town of Attleboro Reserve $100,000.00 Traffic study of and improvements (e.g. signal coordination) to a study area that consists of Route 123 from its intersections at Route 1, northerly along Route 1 to the North Attleborough corporate line.
City of Boston Transportation $200,000.00 Assistance with the design of the Sullivan Square/Rutherford Avenue Project.
Boston Private Industry Council Workforce Development $300,000.00 Funding for the Greater Boston Casino Pipe Line Initiative (GBCPI) including funding for English for Hospitality classes, “Community Supports” local outreach to jobseekers, Best Pre-apprentice program funding and Gaming School Scholarships.
City of Chelsea Transportation $200,000.00 100% Design / Engineering of Beacham / Williams Street Corridor
Cities of Everett/Somerville Joint Transportation $425,000.00 Design & permitting of station enhancements / a weather protected connecting structure (Connector) to provide enhanced access to the Assembly Square MBTA Station.   A completed Connector would work in tandem with a proposed bicycle and pedestrian bridge to provide connections from the Station to the Encore Boston Harbor facility, the City of Everett, and regional bicycle and pedestrian paths.
Hampden County District Attorney Specific $125,000.00 $100,000 for the hiring of an additional Assistant District Attorney to assist with potential increased caseloads that may result from the operation of the MGM Springfield facility, and $25,000 to develop a tracking system for casino related cases.    The grant provides flexibility to allow the DA’s office to pay for the portion of a victim witness advocate.
Hampden County Sheriff’s Department – FY18 Specific $365,000.00 Lease assistance for the Western Mass. Correctional Alcohol Center for 2018 and 2019.   The Western Mass. Correctional Alcohol Center needed to move from its prior location within the footprint of the MGM Springfield facility.
Hampden County Sheriff’s Department – FY19 Specific $400,000.00 See above.
Holyoke Community College Workforce Development $300,000.00 Work Ready collaboration between Holyoke Community College, Springfield Technical Community College and Springfield Public Schools (SPS) including $70,000 for HCC gaming scholarships, $57,306 for HCC / STCC line cook training; $100,000 for year two of the SPS Ahead of the Game program for literacy and math skills GED / HiSET; and $82,693 for year two of the STCC / HCC Hampden Prep Program for local education (high school credential) and career readiness exploration and certificate.
City of Holyoke Reserve $100,000.00 $35,000 to engage a consulting firm to coordinate staff and community stakeholders in a Holyoke Tourism Plan. The remaining $65,000 will be reserved to implement the deliverables of the Tourism Plan.
Massachusetts State Police  ** Specific $1,814,544.00 Hiring, Training, and Compensation of Troopers for the Expansion of the Gaming Enforcement Unit
City of Malden Non-Transportation Planning $50,000.00 Funding to engage a planning consultant to assist in the completion of a Broadway Corridor Framework Plan to study existing physical and economic conditions, project gaming facility related impacts on the Corridor, provide recommendations relating to land use, economic development, and the public realm, and provide an action plan to implement these recommendations.
City of Medford Transportation $198,600.00 Survey, completion of documents, completion of Final Design documents and complete permitting for the proposed South Medford Connector bicycle and pedestrian path, designed to provide enhance regional connections.
MetroNorth Regional Employment Board Workforce Development $300,000.00 Metro North Casino Careers Consortium (MNCCC) including $95,000 for the NECAT Everett Culinary Training Program, $10,000 for the Career Casino Advisors program, $60,000 for English for Employment, and $50,000 for Job Readiness Training
City of Revere Non-Transportation Planning $50,000.00 $42,000 to continue the services of an economic development consultant to address Encore Boston Harbor opportunities over an additional period of 6 months. The balance of the grant, $8,000, would be used to undertake marketing and promotional efforts about these development opportunities and the potential linkage with the Encore Boston Harbor Casino.
City of Revere / Town of Saugus Joint Transportation $275,000.00 Funding for preliminary traffic designs for elements within Phase 1 of the Route 1 Improvement Project in order to plan for potential Encore Boston Harbor traffic.
Springfield Police Department Specific $160,498.32 Training and equipment for Recruit Officers to attend Police Training Academy, and additional personnel costs.  Five Springfield Police Officers and one Lieutenant will be assigned the MGM Springfield Gaming Enforcement Unit.
Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) Tribal Gaming Technical Assistance Grant $200,000.00 A reserve for tribal technical assistance planning studies to assist communities surrounding the proposed Taunton gaming facility.   The release of funding requires a vote of the Commisson that construction of the proposed facility will likely commence prior to or during FY19.
Town of West Springfield Transportation $200,000.00 Professional engineering consultant to collect data, analyze and design improvements to portions of both Park Street (Route 20) and Park Avenue (Route 20) between the intersections of Elm Street (Route 20) and Union Street, easterly to the North End Bridge Rotary at Route 5 to mitigate transportation impacts associated with additional casino traffic.
Town of West Springfield Non-Transportation Planning $40,000.00 Funding for an architectural and engineering consultant to conduct a Police Facility Needs Assessment and Location Study.   The Town of West Springfield will experience space constraints in its current facility resulting from the hiring of eight new officers to address potential MGM Springfield calls for service.
Town of Wrentham Reserve $40,000.00 Creation of new Route 1 Zoning Regulations to address increased development interest in the corridor resulting from the Plainridge Park Casino.

Previous Community Mitigation Fund Awards

Details of previous awards can be found by following the following link.


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