What you need to know

  • The Expanded Gaming Act created the Community Mitigation Fund to help entities offset impact costs related to the construction and operation of a gaming establishment.
  • The applications for the 2021 Community Mitigation Fund were due by February 1, 2021.
  • Awards were voted upon by the Commission in public meetings throughout the spring of 2021, and can be found here.
  • The Community Mitigation Fund may be used to compensate for impact 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 2021 Community Mitigation Fund

The Massachusetts Legislature legalized casino gaming to produce broad-based economic development, including jobs and revenue. The Legislature also established an equally important mandate to mitigate unintended impacts associated with the arrival of casino gaming. To that end, the law created the Community Mitigation Fund to support communities and governmental entities in offsetting impact costs related to the construction and operation of gaming facilities.

Since 2015, the MGC has issued approximately $28 million in funding to advance needs in transportation, community planning, workforce development and public safety for municipalities and government entities located in the vicinity of the casinos.

2021 Community Mitigation Fund Awards

Specific Impact Grants
  • City of Everett Surveillance: This grant will fund the installation of lighting controls, along with surveillance on Lower Broadway and surrounding areas.
  • City of Everett Fire Department: This grant will provide funding for EMT training and equipment costs.
  • City of Everett Police Department: This grant will provide funding for additional late-night patrols and additional equipment.
  • Town of Foxborough Police Department: This grant will allow for specialized training for personnel in a variety of areas and equipment to enhance capabilities.
  • Hampden County District Attorney’s Office: This grant will continue funding for mitigating the impact of the casino and casino-related matters on the District Attorney’s Office.
  • Hampden County Sheriff’s Department: This grant will continue funding for lease assistance for the Western Massachusetts Recovery and Wellness Center, which was relocated due to its placement within the physical footprint of MGM Springfield.
  • Town of Plainville Police Department: This grant will allow for the purchase of a transport van, along with an informational data collection sign board and enclosed traffic trailer, to house and transport traffic mitigation equipment.
  • City of Springfield Police Department: This grant will provide funding for equipment and the installation of improved technology in support of ongoing Metro Unit/MGM policing strategies.
  • City of Springfield Fire Department: This grant will provide funding for defibrillators for the apparatus that responds to the area of MGM Springfield.
  • City of Springfield Implementation Blueprint: This grant will fund advancements to the implementation of the strategic opportunities identified in the Springfield Blueprint Plan.
  • Town of West Springfield EMS: 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.
Transportation Planning Grants
  • City of Boston: This grant will provide continued funding for the design of long-term improvements to Sullivan Square/Rutherford Avenue in Charlestown.
  • City of Chicopee: This grant will allow for streetscape improvements to Chicopee Center. These will provide MGM Springfield employees and patrons safer and more equitable access to the casino.
  • City of Everett – Mystic Boardwalk: This grant will be used to complete a missing section of the Mystic Riverwalk between Mystic View Park and Route 16.
  • City of Malden: This grant will provide funding for transportation design services for the Broadway corridor from Everett to Melrose, and to prepare bid-ready documents for a portion of the corridor closer to Everett.
Transportation Planning Grant Applications Not Awarded
Transportation Construction Project Grants
  • City of Boston – Lost Village: This grant will provide funding for geometric changes to the intersection of Brighton and Cambridge Streets in Charlestown. This will create safer crossings and a better line of sight for turning vehicles, as well as a fiber connection from Sullivan Square to Parker Street.
  • City of Everett – Northern Strand: This grant will provide funding for the addition of lighting on the Northern Strand Community Trail.
  • City of Revere & Town of Saugus: This joint grant will be used for limited improvements to the Route 1 North right-of-way from the proposed exit-entrance ramps to the Overlook Ridge development to Route 99.
  • City of Springfield – Dwight Street: This grant will help revitalize Dwight St. and Hampden St., including roadway resurfacing, sidewalk and median improvements, bicycle accommodations, guardrails, and safety upgrades.
Workforce Development Pilot Program Grants
  • Holyoke Community College: This grant will provide funding for the enhancement of the collaborative effort of HCC, Springfield Technical Community College, and Springfield Public Schools. This will provide adult education, work readiness, and occupational skills training to connect the un/underemployed to opportunities in the region.
  • Masshire MetroNorth Workforce Board: 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 digital literacy trainings target at hospitality industry workers who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Community Planning Grants
  • City of Chelsea & City of Revere: This grant will be used to develop tailored curricula for Contextualized ESOL Programs & Adult Digital Literacy classes. Curricula will be geared towards industries at the casino’s nexus, complimented by adult digital literacy programs for non-English speakers.
  • City of Lynn: This grant will provide funding for a marketing campaign designed to mitigate the adverse effects on Lynn, its businesses, and the newly instituted cultural district as a result of Encore Boston Harbor’s operations.
  • City of Malden – Broadway Zoning: This grant will be used to complete a zoning and land use review of the Broadway corridor to help remove barriers to development and allow it to attract specific industry clusters.
  • City of Northampton: This grant will provide continued funding for the northampton.live marketing program for FY22.
Community Planning Grant Applications Not Awarded
2015/2016 One-Time Reserve Grant Applications

About the Funds

Reauthorization of the 2015/2016 One-time Reserves Until End of Calendar Year 2021 – (NEW)

Unspent 2015/2016 Reserves will automatically be carried forward for use in 2021. Communities that received approval for 2015/2016 Reserves do not need to re-apply. This Reserve can be used to cover impacts that either have occurred or are occurring in 2021. It may also be used for planning, either to determine how to achieve further benefits from a facility or to avoid or minimize any adverse impacts.

There are still several communities that have not fully expended their Reserves. MGC urges communities to consider whether there are any casino related impacts that need to be addressed. MGC will give these communities until the end of Calendar Year 2021 to commit these funds. Any funding not committed to a project by that time will be rolled back into the CMF and allocated equally between the Regions.

Specific Impact Grants

The 2021 Specific Impact Grant may be used only to mitigate operational related impacts that are being experienced or were experienced from the gaming facilities by the January 31, 2021 application date. MGC has placed a per grant limit for the 2021 Specific Impact Grant of $500,000, subject to request for waiver.

Public Safety Costs

Specific Impact Grant Applications may be submitted for public safety operational costs, which also may include specific training related to gaming facility issues. To receive a Specific Impact Grant for public safety an applicant has to demonstrate three specific things (1) that the grant addresses an issue caused by the casino, (2) the impact is not addressed in the host or surrounding community agreement and (3) the funding will supplement and not supplant historical operational funding.

Incentive for Regional Cooperation

MGC established incentive funding for applications involving more than one community. These joint applications must specifically show the interrelationship of the communities in their endeavor.

Transportation Planning Grants

The 2021 CMF authorizes communities to apply for Transportation Planning Grants. MGC approved a target of $1,000,000 for the total allocation with no more than $200,000 per grant (plus potentially a regional incentive).

Transportation Construction Project Grants

In 2021 MGC will continue grant funding for transportation construction costs. MGC has established a maximum contribution from the CMF of 1/3 of the total construction costs up to a maximum grant amount of $1,000,000. MGC has established a statewide target of $4,000,000 in spending. However, MGC has retained the ability to increase this award amount and other award amounts if funds are available.

Workforce Development Programs in Region A and Region B

MGC will make funding available for workforce development programs in Regions A and B. In an effort to promote administrative efficiencies and greater regional cooperation, applicants that demonstrate cooperation of a significant number of workforce agencies in each region may be eligible for $50,000 in additional funding. The Commission may also authorize an award of up to $100,000 for significant regional needs.

Community Planning Grants (formerly known as Non-Transportation Planning)

MGC will make funding available for certain planning and technical assistance activities through Community Planning Grants. These grants may be used to achieve further benefits from a gaming facility or to avoid or minimize adverse impacts. The maximum grant amount for 2021 is $100,000. In the event that a Community Planning Grant involves more than one community for the same planning project, applicants would be eligible for a Regional Planning Incentive Award.

Tribal Gaming Technical Assistance

MGC is making technical assistance funding available 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. This funding will only be made available if it is determined by the MGC that construction of the gaming facility will likely commence prior to or during Fiscal Year 2021.

Emergency Mitigation Grants – (NEW)

MGC has added a new category of grants for significant impacts that may be identified outside of the normal CMF application process. Any impact must be newly identified and be of an emergency nature that would cause significant harm to the community if it were not remedied in an expeditious fashion. The intent of this grant is to allow MGC to be more responsive in addressing significant casino-related issues that do not fall within the normal CMF timelines.

2021 Community Mitigation Fund Guidelines and Instructions

The application period for the 2021 Community Mitigation Fund is now closed, and applications were due by February 1, 2021.

The following application forms are meant for reference only. Applications must be submitted via COMMBUYS (BD-21-1068-1068C-1068L-56499), per the instructions.

Further detail on this year’s program may be found in the Guidelines or by contacting Joe Delaney. Mr. Delaney can be reached at joseph.delaney@massgaming.gov.

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