Holyoke mayor reverses casino decision, says "no" again - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Holyoke mayor reverses casino decision, says "no" again

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Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse has reversed a recent decision to consider proposals for casinos from three possible bidders in his city.

Morse says that any further discussion of casinos would be a distraction from his other economic goals for the city.

"I now realize that the allure of these short-term economic benefits are not worth a protracted exercise that would divert us and cause me to lose sight of the values that got me elected," said Morse.

Morse, who ran on an anti-casino platform in 2011, initially changed his mind on casinos in November of this year telling three potential developers that he would set a Dec. 21 deadline for their plans to be on his desk.

The about-face came as a surprise to one developer. Paper City Development says they were exchanging documents with the mayor's economic development office less than an hour before being notified of Morse's decision.

Morse says two developers, Iron Horse and Paper City, will have the $25,000 application grants they paid returned. A third developer never paid the fee.

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