AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) - Voters in West Springfield approve Hard Rock's proposal in their casino referendum, and next week another vote may happen in neighboring Agawam.
As supporters rallied in West Springfield Tuesday evening supporting Hard Rock, members of the Agawam City Council prepared a resolution doing just the opposite.
It cites concerns that if Hard Rock were to build a casino on the Big E fairgrounds, traffic back-ups, crime, and infrastructure issues would affect Agawam as well.
Gary Sheley, who opposes the Hard Rock casino, told 22News, “It's a very poor proposal, it ought not to be there, and it doesn’t' work well in an inner city. Just move it somewhere else, it should not go here."
According to Brian Griffin, West Springfield City Council, "I do understand Agawam's concerns; I will tell you that we've had public forums in Agawam to introduce the project so it's surprising that this initiative would come up now."
Hard Rock New England's President Tim Maland wrote a letter to Agawam’s City Council outlining their support for neighboring communities like Agawam.
Under the host agreement, Agawam would be in line to get about 3.4 million dollars every six years, but that's not enough according the supporters of this resolution.
The Agawam resolution already has the support of seven Councilors and is expected to pass. However, it won't go to a vote in Agawam until voters in West Springfield decide during the referendum September 10th.
Griffin said, "What Agawam does, and how they do it we can't control, so we have to let them do what they have to do and us in West Springfield have to educate on the issues and vote responsibly."
The resolution's sponsor Councilor George Bitzas told 22News that if West Springfield voters don't approve Hard Rock's plan the resolution will be taken off the agenda.
If it passes, then the resolution will be put to a vote and the results sent to the Mass. Gaming Commission.