Springfield to discuss how to distribute MGM revenue - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield to discuss how to distribute MGM revenue

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)
AGAWAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

MGM is set to open two weeks from Friday and is expected to attract thousands of people to Springfield. 

One state representative and former city councilor is hoping that the benefits are felt throughout the city. 

We've reported how Springfield will benefit from the casino, given all the money it'll generate, but State Representative Bud Williams told Western Mass News he hopes the benefits don't just stay downtown.

"We have an opportunity now.  It's a new stream of money," Williams said.

Williams is a state representative for the 11th Hampden District in Springfield, but before taking that office, he served on the city council and told us that he took part in a lot of the negotiating with MGM. 

As part of the host community agreement, MGM has promised to give the city $25 million. 

However, Williams said that in addition to that, every year, MGM will give the city another $18 million as part of a 21A agreement.  He said that he doesn't want to see that money concentrated in one area of the city.

"There's always a tension between downtown and the neighborhoods, I understand, I get it," Williams added.

Instead, Williams wants the city's eight wards to receive an equal amount of money, which he said would be about $2.25 million for the neighborhoods. 

"I think at the end of the day, people voted for MGM, so I think they should reap some of the benefits.  I don't think it's too far stretched," Williams said.

He told Western Mass News the neighborhood councils should be given the choice on how to use that money. 

"Sidewalks, it might be more paving.  It might be blighted property coming down.  Mason Square, this building.  We might be able to do something with this building after all these years," Williams noted..

Williams said that MGM has done their part and now, it's up to the city do theirs.

The city council's finance committee will be holding a meeting Tuesday to discuss how to distribute the MGM revenue.  That meeting is open to the public and begins at 5 p.m. at city hall. 

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