LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) - Another surrounding community voiced its concerns Wednesday night at the casino mitigation committee meeting.
Longmeadow residents want to make sure those developers have plans for Route 5 before they submit their final proposal.
Hard Rock wants to build a resort casino in West Springfield. Just two miles down the road, MGM wants to build one in Springfield's South End.
As this competition for one western Massachusetts gaming license continues, Springfield and West Springfield leaders are already talking about possible casino impacts on each other and on nearby cities and towns.
Springfield City Council President Jimmy Ferrera told 22News, “We need to make sure that the communities that are going to have the most impact are also taken care of as well.”
Wednesday night, Springfield and West Springfield casino mitigation committees invited Longmeadow town leaders to their meeting.
The Town of Longmeadow now wants to play a more active role in the surrounding community negotiations. They want to know how a casino near I-91 will affect their commute on Route 5.
Town Manager Stephen Crane told 22News, “If there's an accident on the highway or any kind of traffic issue at all, Longmeadow becomes a cut through, and Route 5 backs way up, and we have intersections there that are already sometimes problematic.”
Another main concern is public safety.
The Longmeadow Board of Selectmen Chair Marie Angelides told 22News, “Of course, safety is the number one. We are looking at possibly increasing police and fire at nights and weekends when the traffic and population may increase.”
MGM promised to pay surrounding communities $500,000.
Meanwhile, a town council resolution in the nearby town of Agawam was introduced in opposition to the proposed West Springfield casino.
West Springfield's Mayor Greg Neffinger said in a statement: "During our negotiations, Agawam was a frequent topic."
He said West Springfield is well aware of traffic issues. Hard Rock has agreed to pay $4.5 million. That will be shared between Springfield and Agawam.
The next mitigation meeting is scheduled for September 19th.