SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - For the first time since announcing their casino proposals, the neighboring cities of Springfield and West Springfield came together to share information and talk about potential casino impacts.
It's was the first of many future meetings inside Springfield City Hall . Officials from casino committees in both cities met to share information.
Two developers, two proposals, two cities. Each side thinks they have the best plan, but there's only one gaming license, and the loser, doesn't want to gamble.
According to Springfield City Council President James Ferrera, "If West Springfield is successful, will there be Springfield jobs available for Springfield residents so It's critically important to start the discussion now and it's important that we have this insurance policy if Springfield is not selected."
However, not selected doesn't mean not 'impacted.' Jobs, traffic, taxes, crime, and quality of life impacts will be shared by both cities.
"This is our first joint meeting of our councils that are intimately involved with the host agreement or the surrounding community impact agreement," said Nick Papier of West Springfield.
The Chairman of West Springfield's Casino Advisory Committee Chairman Brian Griffin told 22News that he finds one number in Springfield's host community agreement with MGM is woefully inadequate.
"$500,000 in the host community agreement in Springfield. That really triggered our eye. That would be split up amongst a myriad of different communities. Quite frankly, that just doesn't cut it," said Chairman Griffin.
Officials from both sides of the river told 22News that now is the time to work together to build bridges, for two cities, that are joined by two of them.
Springfield officials told 22News that if Hard Rock gets the casino, they still want to make sure their city is visited for entertainment. West Springfield officials say that if MGM wins, they'll need to know about traffic.
In the end, it'll be up to the State Gaming Commission to decide if the casino will be in Springfield, West Springfield or Palmer.