PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) - Mohegan Sun's $1 billion plan includes a water park and two hotels, and when Palmer voters head to the polls on November 5th, they'll decide if that proposal will move on to Phase 2 of the gambling license application process.
After a unanimous vote Tuesday night by the Town Council, Palmer voters will head to the polls on November 5th for the special casino referendum.
Mohegan Sun wanted the referendum to be held on November 5th, the first Tuesday of November when most elections are typically held. That day, polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The ballot will ask a "Yes" or "No" question: Should the Town of Palmer allow a casino gaming establishment to be built?
Some people said they'll vote "No."
Diane Pikul of Palmer told 22News, “Worried about the crime rate. I'm worried about the traffic pattern. There are so many things out there. Gambling is such a bad disease.”
However, casino supporters disagree. They told 22News Mohegan Sun's proposal will bring jobs.
Jennifer Baruffaldi from Citizens of Jobs and Growth in Palmer said, “We lost so many jobs, so it'll be nice to bring some jobs back to the region.”
Joe Mastalerz of Palmer said, “Jobs. We need jobs. I mean, all the industry in this town has moved out. We have very little left.”
And help local business owners by bringing thousands of new visitors to Palmer.
Business owner Chris Brunelle said, “The cost of doing business, especially in food, has gone up 6-22%. So right now the only way you make up those costs is more traffic.”
Mohegan Sun presented a check for $200,000 to the Town Council at the meeting. That was the first of several upfront payments Mohegan promised to make even before a casino is built.