Questions remain in Palmer more than a week after casino meeting - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Questions remain in Palmer more than a week after casino meeting

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Mohegan Sun is going on six years of having a presence in the town.  That is longer than any other proposed Western Mass casino.

That is also the reason the town officials and residents are ready to hear more.

More than one week after Mohegan's March 4 presentation, questions remain. During this week's Town Council meeting, city officials said they were looking for more details.

"There was nothing really new and concrete," said Palmer Town Councilor Paul Burns. "There were a lot of things that came out. They talked about increasing the cost of the project by about $200 million, which is always a good thing to hear. But they were very unspecific about what that was."

"I think some of the frustrations are that people are excited about this," said Robert Young, a Palmer resident and spokesman for a pro-casino group.  "They want to see something moving forward."

Young believes Mohegan has divulged nearly as much information as its Western Mass competitors.

"[The competitors] had not told us anything that Mohegan had not told us," Young stated. "So they are keeping their cards close to their chest also."

"If you really look at all of the proposals that are coming out, there is an awful lot of stuff that has not been said," said Burns.  "But at the same token, there are more specifics in Springfield. I think the people in Palmer are just looking for a few more specifics."

Those specifics include traffic concerns, which officials said the casino has yet to fully address.

"There are significant portions of the traffic issue and traffic studies that can be released that do not release proprietary information," Burns stated. "There is a general agreement on what will come. Take those general numbers and lets talk about those."

Town Council President Phil Hebert told CBS 3 that Mohegan officials had to scrap their previous traffic plans when they decided to increase the cost of the project.

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