LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) - With Hard Rock now out of the western Massachusetts casino competition, the Town of Longmeadow is dealing with just one neighbor that could host a gambling resort.
The conversation has already started between Longmeadow and their next door neighbor, Springfield, but they are concerned a study they need to see will not be done for another three months or so.
Less than 4 months to go before the final application deadline, and all eyes are now on MGM Springfield.
Gary Setian of Longmeadow told 22News, “Springfield is in a declining situation. I believe that's not a secret to anyone. I truly believe that the casino will help vitalize the downtown area.”
MGM has until December 31st to submit the Phase 2 application to build in Springfield's South End, and the Mass. Gaming Commission wants that application to include signed surrounding community agreements.
That means MGM must complete an environment impact study, share the results with 7 neighbor cities and towns and negotiate surrounding community agreements, by the end of the year.
However, Longmeadow may not see that study until mid-December, too late to review the results and negotiate an agreement.
Longmeadow Board of Selectmen Chair Marie Angelides told 22News, “That doesn't mean we can't start our own work now and start the negotiations, but to see the final report come out that late, and the actual agreement is due December 31st, that's a problem.”
Longmeadow Town Manager Stephen Crane agreed. He told 22News there may be changes they may want to discuss once the study comes out.
Crane said, “Make sure that they counted the right number of cars and looked at the right intersections. And then take their assumptions about when peak traffic is. Challenge them based on our own knowledge of these streets and intersections.”