A Request for Public Comment: 2018 Community Mitigation Fund Guidelines Discussion Draft

Below please find a “Discussion Draft” of the 2018 Community Mitigation Fund (“CMF”) Guidelines, a comparison to the 2017 Guidelines and a memorandum on Policy questions regarding the 2018 CMF. Before beginning any final review of the “Discussion Draft”, the Commission determined that it would seek input from the general public. The purpose of the “Discussion Draft” is to receive substantial recommendations from parties to enable the Commission to evaluate the concepts in this draft. The Commission has not adopted these Guidelines.

In addition to a request for comments on the massgaming.com website, the Commission is seeking the input of the Gaming Policy Advisory Committee, regional planning agencies, host communities, surrounding communities, communities that entered into a nearby community agreement, communities that petitioned to become a surrounding community, geographically adjacent communities, the general public and other interested parties. Comments from other communities and governmental entities are also requested.

This Discussion Draft includes renewals, proposed changes, and suggested additional concepts to the 2018 Community Mitigation Fund Guidelines, some of which are detailed below.

The 2018 Discussion Draft Guidelines:
  • Continue the grant types approved in 2017 Guidelines.  The Guidelines increase funding for some categories and include one new type of grant called the Non-Transportation Planning Grant.
Grant Type Proposed 2018 Per Grant Amounts Per Grant Amounts in 2017 Guidelines
Specific Impact Grants $500,000 $400,000
Workforce Pilot Program $300,000
per region
per region
Transportation Planning $200,000 $150,000
Tribal Impact Grant $200,000 $200,000
Non-Transportation Planning Grant $50,000 N/A

Note:  in the proposed Guidelines, the Commission expresses its ability to go above or below such guideline limits and also allows applicants to seek a waiver from such limits in specified instances.

  • Initiate a 2018 Non-Transportation Planning Grant available to communities that previously qualified to receive funding from the One-Time 2015/2016 Reserve Fund and have already “utilized” such funding (i.e. have allocated and received Commission approval of the use of their Reserve funding).
  • Establish a target limit of $200,000 per Transportation Planning Grant with a total allocation target of $1,000,000; a target of $500,000 per Specific Impact Grant, limited to one per community; and a target of $300,000 per Workforce Development Pilot Program region (Region A & Region B) for a total allocation target of $600,000 statewide.
  • Continue the potential use of the Community Mitigation Fund to mitigate operational impacts relating to the Plainridge Park facility with a limit of $500,000.
  • Continue the potential use of the Community Mitigation Fund to mitigate Specific Impacts related to the construction of MGM Springfield and Wynn Boston Harbor. Although the Discussion Draft Guidelines limit Category 1 impact grants to construction based impacts, the Commission seeks input on whether eligibility should be expanded to include some additional costs that may occur prior to operations including police training costs. In previous years the Commission had already authorized funding for some pre-operational costs such as workforce development and training, and transportation planning activities.
  • Automatically preserve unused 2015/2016 One-Time Reserve Fund grant for those communities awarded Reserves in 2015 or 2016.
  • Require governmental entities within communities such as redevelopment authorities or non-regional school districts to submit applications through such community rather than submitting applications independent of the community.
  • Continue to support regional approaches to mitigation needs and recognize that some mitigation requires the commitment of more than one community. For example, the 2018 Discussion Draft allows communities to submit a joint application. [NOTE: In order to further regional cooperation the Commission recently discussed the potential establishment of “bonus” funding (beyond the amounts stated in the Guidelines) for applications involving more than one community. The Commission seeks further comment on the establishment of a bonus and how such bonus could be implemented. In addition to the promotion of regional approaches, the Commission discussed that a bonus might allow for larger projects with potentially greater benefits than allowable under last year’s limits funding limits and this year’s proposed limits.]
  • Allow the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department to apply for lease assistance funding as specified in the Commission’s determination in 2016, including lease assistance for both Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019.
  • Require applicants to include a detailed scope, budget and timetable and to detail what they will contribute to the project such as in-kind services for each mitigation request;
  • Suggest certain limitations and specific requirements on planning applications. Applicants should provide detail regarding consultations with nearby communities to determine the potential for cooperative regional efforts regarding planning activities.
  • Stipulate that the Commission may in its discretion waive or grant a variance from any provision or requirement contained in these Guidelines.
  • Continue the 2017 Fund Guidelines practice of having one statewide fund. However, the Discussion Draft indicates the Commission’s intent to develop a system in future guidelines of awarding funding based in part on the amount of gaming taxes paid into the CMF from each current Category 1 facility. Any such system would still need to address needs statewide, including those resulting from the state’s only Category 2 facility whose gaming taxes are primarily dedicated to local aid.

Comments are requested by 5:00pm on Monday, November 27, 2017. To expedite the comment process, we encourage you to submit any comments to the 2018 Community Mitigation Fund Guideline concept draft via e-mail to mgccomments@state.ma.us with ‘2018 CMFG‘ in the subject line.

Stay Updated
Sign up to receive the latest gaming news and updates!