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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Awards Approximately $6.7 Million in Grants from Community Mitigation Fund

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) recently approved the award of approximately $6.7 million in Community Mitigation grants to several municipalities and other eligible entities across Massachusetts.

The Gaming Law created the Community Mitigation Fund to help entities offset costs related to the construction and operations of gaming establishments. The Gaming Law states that the Commission will issue funds to assist host and surrounding communities … “including, but not limited to, communities and water and sewer districts in the vicinity of a gaming establishment, local and regional education, transportation, infrastructure, housing, environmental issues and public safety, including the office of the county district attorney, police, fire, and emergency services.” The Commission may also distribute funds to a governmental entity or district other than a single municipality in order to implement a mitigation measure that affects more than one community.

Since 2015, the MGC has awarded approximately $23 million in grants from the Community Mitigation Fund.

“The Community Mitigation Fund program underscores the Commonwealth’s commitment to not only maximize the benefits associated with expanded gaming, such as jobs and economic development, but also the Legislature’s strong mandate to mitigate any unintended consequences that potentially correlate with the arrival of casinos,” said MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein. “This is the continuation of our ongoing efforts in assessing impacts and maximizing the benefits of gaming.”

A Community Mitigation Fund review team conducted a comprehensive review of all applications to ensure compliance with the 2020 Guidelines and made recommendations to the Commission. After deliberation on those recommendations, the Commission voted to award the following grants:

 

GRANTS AWARDED 2020 TYPE OF APPLICATION AWARD DESCRIPTION
City of Chelsea-Beacham/Williams Streets Specific $500,000 This grant will fund a portion of the comprehensive reconstruction of Beacham and Williams Streets, from Spruce Street to the City’s boundary with Everett. This project consists of roadway and utility reconstruction, intersection upgrades, and the installation of pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
City of Everett – Fire Department Specific $200,000 This grant will provide funding to supplement the additional personnel and operational costs incurred as a result of Encore Boston Harbor’s operations.
City of Everett – Police Department Specific $184,000 This grant will provide funding to supplement the additional personnel and operational costs incurred as a result of Encore Boston Harbor’s operations.
Town of Foxborough Specific $83,000 This funding will enable Foxborough to acquire a full-size pickup truck and assorted traffic safety equipment (cones/barrier/signs) and assist local communities via mutual aid.
Hampden County Sheriff’s Dept. Specific $400,000 The grant will provide funding for lease assistance for the Western Massachusetts Recovery & Wellness Center for FY2021. The center moved after 29 years of operation at 26 Howard Street due to its placement within the physical footprint of MGM Springfield.
Hampden County DA Specific $75,000 The grant will provide funding for personnel to mitigate the increase in caseloads as a result of MGM Springfield’s opening.
City of Springfield – Blueprint Specific $250,000 Building on initial efforts from 2019, this project will focus on advancing the most critical and pressing catalytic economic development initiatives in downtown.
City of Springfield – City Stage Specific $300,000 This grant will provide funds to perform significant capital improvements and system upgrades to the City Stage Unit located in downtown Springfield.
City of Springfield – Police Specific $110,000 This grant will provide funding for specific equipment for the Springfield Police Department to address public safety needs relating to the opening of MGM Springfield.
City of Springfield – Revenue Recovery Specific $100,000 This grant will provide funding to conduct updated parking demand feasibility studies downtown, in furtherance of solutions that may reestablish sources of revenue for the Parking Authority, and more effectively locate shared, convenient and proximate parking in areas of high demand, while freeing up open land for critical redevelopment.
Town of West Springfield Police and Fire/EMS Specific $200,000 This grant will provide funding for additional Police and Fire/EMS personnel to address the increased demand for municipal services resulting from the opening of MGM Springfield.
City of Boston – Sullivan Square /Rutherford Avenue Transportation $200,000 This grant will provide funding for a portion of the design cost of improvement to Sullivan Square and Rutherford Avenue. The City of Boston noted that approximately 70% of the traffic generated by Encore Boston Harbor has been projected to go through Sullivan Square.
City of Lynn – Western Avenue Transportation $100,000 This grant will provide funding for a traffic analysis, functional design report and conceptual design development for the Route 107 corridor.
City of Malden – Transit Action Plan Transportation $150,000 This grant will be used to develop a Transit Action Plan for the City of Malden.
City of Boston – Lost Village Transportation Construction Project $295,000 This grant will be used to create safer crossings and better line of sight for turning vehicles, as well as a fiber connection from Sullivan Square to the Park Street intersection.
City of Chelsea – Beacham/Williams Streets Transportation Construction Project $1,000,000 This grant will fund a portion of the comprehensive reconstruction of Beacham and Williams Streets, from Spruce Street to the City’s boundary with Everett.  This project consists of roadway and utility reconstruction, intersection upgrades, and the installation of pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
City of Everett -Northern Strand Transportation Construction Project $375,000 This grant will partially fund an extension of the Northern Strand Community Trail to the Mystic River.
City of Medford – Wellington Greenway Transportation Construction Project $530,000 This grant will construct the last phase of the Wellington Greenway, a 0.3-mile path that will connect local residents/employees to the Encore Resort via waterfront paths along the Mystic and Malden Rivers.
Town of West Springfield – Park Avenue/Park Street Complete Streets Improvements Transportation Construction Project $1,000,000 This grant will provide funding to enable Complete Street Transportation Improvements to the Park Avenue and Park Street (Route 20) corridors from the Elm Street/Union Street intersection to the North End Rotary.
Holyoke Community College Workforce Development $199,000 This grant will provide funding for a workforce development system, which provides Adult Education, work readiness, and occupational skills training to connect the un/underemployed to opportunities.
Masshire MetroNorth Workforce Board Workforce Development $172,000 This grant is a regional project aimed at addressing the workforce needs of the hospitality sector impacted by Encore Boston Harbor.  A consortium of partners will provide career and employment services, ESOL and occupational skills training to prepare local residents for high quality hospitality careers.
City of Everett – Designated Port Area Non-Transportation Planning $100,000 This grant will fund a planning initiative to look at the large industrial district that straddles the Everett/Chelsea line in order to understand the impact of the district on the local and regional economy, especially as it relates to the abutting Entertainment District.
City of Medford Non-Transportation Planning $100,000 This grant will enable Medford to contract consultant services to create and launch a program to assist businesses to access funds and benefits designated through the Surrounding Community Agreement for the benefit of Medford businesses.
City of Northampton Non-Transportation Planning $50,000 This grant will provide funding to continue the “northampton.live” marketing web platform which is the City’s first marketing program.
Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development (SPREDD) Tribal Gaming Technical Assistance $200,000* The grant will provide funding for requests for studies to assist communities in geographic proximity to the potential Tribal Gaming facility in Taunton with regard to traffic capacity and operational impacts, should the construction of the Tribal Gaming facility move forward.  This continuation of a prior year grant would require a separate Commission vote to proceed depending on the status of the proposed Tribal facility.

*These funds carried over from the 2019 Community Mitigation Fund awards and do not count towards the 2020 total

Visit the Community Mitigation Fund page on MassGaming.com to learn more about the 2020 applications and guidelines.

About MassGaming

The mission of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is to create a fair, transparent, and participatory process for implementing the expanded gaming law passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in November 2011. In creating that process, the Commission will strive to ensure that its decision-making and regulatory systems engender the confidence of the public and participants, and that they provide the greatest possible economic development benefits and revenues to the people of the Commonwealth, reduce to the maximum extent possible the potentially negative or unintended consequences of the new legislation, and allow an appropriate return on investment for gaming providers that assures the operation of casino-resorts of the highest quality. For more information on MGC, please visit MassGaming.com or connect and share on Twitter (@MassGamingComm) or Facebook www.facebook.com/MAGamingComm.

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