SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has awarded nearly $2 million in Community Mitigation Funds to several cities and towns in the state including Springfield and West Springfield.

According to a news release sent to 22News from MGC, the City of Springfield was awarded $31,523 thousand to fund the continuation of a valet pilot program for the Caring Health Center and other area businesses impacted by the construction of the casino.

The Town of West Springfield received $150,000 to provide funding for engineering design services for improvements to the Elm Street (Route 20) corridor from Westfield Street to Park Street. This will allow the town to better accommodate casino related traffic as to improve pedestrian, bicycle and public transit access and safety.

“The Community Mitigation Fund program underscores the Commonwealth’s commitment to not only maximizing the benefits associated with expanded gaming such as jobs and economic development, but also the Legislature’s strong mandate to mitigate any unintended consequences that potentially correlate with the arrival of casinos,” MGC Chairman Steve Crosby stated in the release. ““This is only the beginning of our ongoing efforts in assessing impacts and maximizing the benefits of gaming.”

Other locations awarded by the Commission include the City of Everett, the City of Lynn, Norfolk District Attorney’s office, the town of Plainville, the City of Boston, the City of Medford, the City of Revere, the City of Somerville, Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District and the City of Malden.