W. Springfield announces plans for Hard Rock money - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

W. Springfield announces plans for Hard Rock money

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Approximately two weeks ago, the city signed its host community agreement with Hard Rock Casino.

Part of that agreement called for the company to give $400,000 to the city within five days of the deal being signed.

Wednesday, Mayor Gregory Neffinger announced that the required payment is going to buy land for the city.

"Our ball fields are in dire need of repair," said Neffinger.

New fields are what city residents will get, as Neffinger showed the plans in place to convert the land behind the Elks Lodge on Morgan Road. The money will be used to purchase the land from the lodge.

"We may start prepping them this fall," Neffinger stated. "But probably in the spring or summer they would be available."

Along with the new fields, the city will get use out of the Elks Lodge building. They plan to move the library there while a new one is built. The move will save the city $650,000 on finding a temporary structure.

"With the $600,000 savings there and the gift from Hard Rock for community enhancements, this adds up in the past week for about $1 million in savings for the city of West Springfield," said Neffinger.

The mayor said city council needs to approve the plans to release the Hard Rock funds, but he believes there is already a majority who will say yes.

Tuesday night, city council approved the date of Sept. 10, as the day residents will go to the polls to vote yes or no on the host agreement.

Springfield voters approved MGM's host agreement last week.

Palmer is still in negotiations with Mohegan Sun.

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