BOSTON — The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) recently approved awards of more than $10.6 million in Community Mitigation Fund grants to numerous municipalities and other eligible entities across Massachusetts.
Since 2015, the MGC has awarded approximately $37.7 million in grants from the Community Mitigation Fund. The fund, established by the state’s gaming law, helps host and surrounding communities and other qualified applicants to offset costs related to casino construction and operation. Grant awards support a range of community needs, including education, transportation, infrastructure, housing, environmental issues, public safety, and emergency services.
“The more than $10 million in grants awarded through the 2022 Community Mitigation Fund is yet another example of the Commonwealth’s commitment to fully realize the benefits of its gaming industry as well as the Gaming Commission’s continued fulfillment of the mandate made by the Legislature to mitigate any unintended impacts tied to gaming in Massachusetts,” MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein said.
“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,” she added. “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.”
In Western Mass., the grants include:
• Agawam: $833,300 for reconstruction of the intersection at Suffield, Cooper, and Rowley streets;
• Hampden District Attorney’s Office: $75,000 to continue funding for personnel to handle casino-related prosecutions. The funding has been in place for three years;
• Hampden County Sheriff’s Department: $400,000 to 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: $500,000 for Work Ready 2022, a collaborative effort of HCC, Springfield Technical Community College, and Springfield Public Schools to provide adult education, career readiness, and occupational training to connect unemployed and underemployed residents to education, training, and employment opportunities to meet the workforce needs of MGM Springfield and the region;
• Longmeadow: $85,900 to 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: $75,000 to provide continued funding for development and improvement of the northampton.live website;
• Springfield: $300,000 to 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: $766,700 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;
• Springfield: $1,500,000 to 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 Department: $41,300 to purchase extrication tools for the apparatus that primarily responds to the casino area;
• Springfield Metro Police: $16,000 to address unforeseen deficits in the area of IT connectivity in support of the Gaming Enforcement Office;
• West Springfield: $200,000 to fund additional police and fire/EMS personnel hired to increase staffing for the impact to municipal services resulting from the opening of MGM; and
• West Springfield: $1,266,600 to fund Complete Streets transportation improvements of Elm Street (Route 20) from Park Street/Park Avenue to Garden Street.