SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has approved more than $10.6 million in Community Mitigation Fund grants that will be awarded to several cities and towns across the Commonwealth.
As far as western Massachusetts, a total of $5,992,300 in grants will be awarded to projects in Agawam, Holyoke, Northampton, Longmeadow, Springfield and West Springfield. The funds, which were established by the gaming law, offer aid to local communities to help offset costs related to casino construction and operation.
MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein stated, “The MGC is proud to support communities in the Commonwealth as they seek to improve government services and make advancements in road safety, tourism marketing, wellness and recovery services, public safety training and personnel, and job readiness programming. On behalf of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, I extend congratulations to all of our 2022 grant recipients and look forward to the numerous ways those awards will make innovative, tangible improvements to the Commonwealth and its communities.”
Grants will be awarded to the following western Massachusetts projects:
- Agawam Intersection Redesign: $833,300 – Reconstruction of the intersection at Suffield Street, Cooper Street and Rowley Street.
- Hampden DA Personnel Costs: $75,000 – This grant continues funding to the Hampden DA’s Office for personnel to handle casino-related prosecutions. The funding has been in place for three years.
- Hampden Sheriff Lease Assistance: $400,000 – These funds provide lease assistance for the Western Massachusetts Recovery and Wellness Center after having to move its location to make way for the MGM Casino.
- Holyoke Community College Work Ready 2022: $500,000 – Work Ready 2022 is a collaborative effort of HCC, STCC, and SPS to provide adult education, career readiness and occupational training to connect un- and underemployed residents to education, training and employment opportunities to meet the workforce needs of MGM Springfield and the region.
- Longmeadow Camera Project: $85,900 – This grant will provide funding for cameras at the intersection of the I-91 and Longmeadow Street/Route 5 junction. Monitoring this site will determine the most effective methods of deploying law enforcement and public safety resources.
- Northampton Marketing Program: $75,000 – This grant provides continued funding for development and improvement of the northampton.live website.
- Springfield Garage Design & Development Plan: $300,000 – This grant will advance the site feasibility, design, and financing/development options for a new mixed-use/parking garage recommended in the Springfield Parking Authority parking study.
- Springfield Resurfacing E. Columbus & Hall of Fame Ave: $766,700 – These funds are for the revitalization of East Columbus Avenue and Hall of Fame Avenue. Major elements will include roadway resurfacing, sidewalk and median improvements, bicycle accommodations, guardrails, and safety upgrades in the heart of downtown in a very close proximity to MGM Casino.
- Springfield Court Square Phase 1: $1,500,000 – This grant will help fund the construction of near-term priority public realm improvements to reopen roadways, improve overall access, upgrade utilities, and enhance the pedestrian environment to reestablish connectivity with MGM and the 13-31 Elm Building renovation project.
- Springfield (Fire) Extrication Tools: $41,300 – Funding for the purchase of extrication tools for the apparatus that primarily responds to the casino area.
- Springfield (Metro Police) Equipment Upgrade: $16,000 – This project will address unforeseen deficits in the area of IT connectivity in support of the Gaming Enforcement Office.
- West Springfield Emergency Responder Staffing: $200,000 – Funding for additional police and fire/EMS personnel hired to increase staffing for the impact to municipal services resulting from the opening of the MGM Casino in Springfield, MA.
- West Springfield Elm Street: $1,266,600 – This grant will fund Complete Streets transportation improvements of Elm Street (Rte. 20) from Park Street/ Park Avenue to Garden Street.
Since 2015, the MGC has awarded approximately $37.7 million in grants through the Community Mitigation Fund.