SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - If a casino comes to Springfield, it's sure to shake up its host neighborhood in a lot of ways. But should only the people in that neighborhood have a say on the casino coming?
The Springfield casino site committee started their meeting tonight with a public speak out. Like the other recent meetings though, there weren't a whole lot of people to hear from.
Should every Springfield resident vote to approve a casino? Or just the ward where it would be built? The Springfield casino site committee hopes to make a recommendation to the city council in the coming weeks. City council president James Ferrara told 22News it would have a significant impact on the whole city, so the whole city should have a say.
"Half a billion to a billion dollars of investment is really going to transform the fabric here in the city of Springfield which is why I believe every resident should have their voices heard on this very important matter" said city council president James Ferrara.
The Springfield casino site committee shows strong support for a city-wide vote, but Springfield's Planning and Economic Development subcommittee wants to visit the neighborhoods and hear from residents before a decision is made.
"The whole city should have something to say about it because it is our city. A lot of people are going to be coming just to see the place and participate in whatever its offering, so everybody should have a say," said Teresa Williams.
Whether the vote goes to the ward or the entire city will be decided long before a casino location is even selected.
"I don't understand why everybody is all hyped up about MGM in the South End when we're building a state of the art transportation center in the North End. Every city resident should have an opinion on it and where it's going to go," one resident said.
The casino site committee and the city council wants to hear from you. There will be another meeting this Thursday at the Greenleaf Community Center in Sixteen Acres at 6:30 P.M.