The long-awaited host community agreement between this town and Mohegan Sun for a resort casino features $15.2 million in annual mitigation payments, along with an additional $2.94 million up-front payment. (artist rendition below)
The plan has been years in the making, and the Connecticut-based casino operator is facing competition for the sole Western Massachusetts casino license from MGM Resorts International in Springfield and Hard Rock New England in West Springfield.
Funds from the annual mitigation payments will be appropriated at the discretion of the town, but is is estimated that the following amounts will be allocated from the Mohegan Sun proceeds:
- $1.125 million for municipal programs and economic development
- $875,000 for expansion of staff and equipment at Palmer Fire District No. 1
- $816,000 to hire additional police officers and fund the Police Department
- $530,000 to assist in financing a new public works garage; $450,000 for expansion of emergency medical services
- $295,200 for the Bondsville, Three Rivers and Thorndike fire districts
- $250,000 for the Department of Public Works
- $168,800 to the Inspectional Services Department to hire building inspectors and a health inspector and clerk.
Improvements to the turnpike exit and for Route 32 total $16.5 million.
The casino would feature 3,000 slot machines and 80 table games in approximately 320,000 square feet. There will be a 250-room hotel and conference center, a casual dining restaurant and fine dining restaurant, a 230,000-square-foot retail development featuring more dining options, and other entertainment, including a cinema. There also will be a water park, with another 300-room hotel.
Mitchell Etess, chief executive of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, said the development would be “truly transformative” for Palmer, a community of about 12,000 residents.
That’s all for now.