Springfield City Council president has concerns over city host - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield City Council president has concerns over city host agreement

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Springfield City Council President James Ferrera says the city's community host agreement with MGM is missing promises. 

"Quite frankly, I have some questions," Ferrera said.

Ferrera says the community host agreement doesn't show how much MGM will pay in taxes,  presents 1,200 less parking spaces than MGM originally proposed and it shows the city giving the casino company a tax break.

Ferrera says the biggest concern he has is the document doesn't show the specific $852 million commitment Ferrera says MGM publicly guaranteed the council.

Ferrera stood before the council on Monday night and delayed the vote and called for the city auditor to give the document another look. 

"To give us a financial explanation and the financial impact moving forward," Ferrera said.

Many councilors came prepared to talk casinos Monday night. Instead, the issue will be taken up at a special meeting later in the week.

"Last week we were told that we had to go home and do our homework and study this thing, which we all did and formulated questions to ask tonight, and this whole issue is pushed off," said Councilor Kenneth Shea.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno wants the council to vote on the casino host agreement by May 15. 

Ferrera says that's possible, if his questions are answered.

"The State Gaming Commission has taken their time, the mayor has taken his time, the City Council needs to take our time," Ferrera said.

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