WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - West Springfield now has a signed host agreement with Hard Rock . West Springfield voters will likely go to the polls on September 10th for a casino referendum.
The 22News I-Team discovered how that agreement could impact West Springfield's neighbor, Agawam.
This host agreement provides around $8 million a year to surrounding communities. That money will be split six ways.
Hard Rock's host agreement with West Springfield provides upfront money along with an additional $8 million a year for surrounding communities. West Springfield, Holyoke, Westfield, Chicopee, Springfield and Agawam will split that money.
"We're a little closer than those communities, and then it says it will be shared on a rotating basis, I don't what that number is. I don't know why it would be rotated, we're going to have impacts everyday," said Agawam Mayor Richard Cohen.
"We're going to try to create a regional partners fund. Where the participants would be able to dictate where that money goes specifically," said Hard Rock New England President Tim Maland.
(Should Agawam maybe get a little more than Holyoke just because of the proximity because of the direct impact?)
"We expect Agawam will be defined as a surrounding community and thus benefit from the money that we have upfront for traffic mitigation as well as the annual ongoing payments each year for the surrounding communities," said Maland.
If West Springfield votes in favor of Hard Rock's plan, Hard Rock will begin to negotiate with Agawam and other surrounding communities.
"We will make out certainly better than the city of Chicopee or any surrounding community because the impact to our community is going to be greater and we have made that clear," says Richard Theroux, Chairman of the Agawam Casino Committee.