The twelve communities want to know more about Mohegan Sun's plan, and how it will affect them.
Palmer's surrounding cities and towns now have an option to work with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to study the environmental and economic impacts of a resort casino.
Palmer casino supporters believe Mohegan Sun's proposal will bring economic benefits to the whole region.
Dennis Biron of Bondsville said, “I really believe that my kids, even my grandkids could benefit from the jobs that will be coming up.”
However, twelve cities and towns surrounding Palmer are not convinced.
Kathleen Conley Norbut of Monson told 22News, “We really have to look at every single department because everything changes. That's what the Spectrum Gaming vice president said to me six years when he came to Monson. A casino changes everything.”
Wednesday night eastern Hampden and Hampshire Counties' community leaders met with Mohegan Sun, the Mass. Gaming Commission and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.
These surrounding communities are concerned a Palmer casino will negatively affect their schools, roadways and local businesses, and they said it's nearly impossible to draft, review and sign surrounding community agreements before the "Phase Two Deadline," December 31st.
Mohegan Sun is not obligated to negotiate surrounding communities with all twelve nearby cities and towns, but how comprehensive Mohegan's mitigation plan is will play a crucial role when the Gaming Commission reviews the application.
The Gaming Commission Ombudsman John Ziemba told 22News, “This is a competition, and each of one of these applicants is graded on how they are doing in numerous categories, and how they do their outreach, how successful they are by the time of the application in mitigating those impacts, and having those conversations with communities.”
Mohegan Sun VP of Development Paul Brody said the company will release its impact studies to the PVPC and surrounding cities and towns by the end of October.