Foxwoods presents blueprints for a casino site in Milford, Massachusetts
Foxwoods is currently competing with two other proposals in Everett and East Boston for the only casino license to be awarded to the east of the state of Massachusetts. Planned is a facility whose construction is estimated at around one billion US dollars, and which will cover an area of approximately 8.5 football fields. Visitor potential is estimated at seven million a year. However, both the city administration and the residents still have concerns. As a problem, the groundwater and wastewater supply, traffic management and landscaping is assessed.
After Foxwoods partnered with Milford Partnership, the design was initially overhauled to dispel concerns over landscaping. According to Foxwoods, the resort is now to be built in the traditional New England style, fitting into the urban landscape. Furthermore, they promise that there will be 3500 new jobs. Not only could the city benefit from approximately $ 20 million in tax revenue per year, but the local economy would also be boosted by the $ 50 million that the casino will spend on local services.
The construction work required to approve Foxwood’s casino resort was presented yesterday as part of a risk-containment plan at the second of four Milford city council sessions. According to project engineer Sean Reardon, these mainly include expansion and renovation work on the city’s water supply and sewage system. In the subsequent vote on the construction of the casino, there was one dissenting vote and two abstentions. City deputies Dino DeBartolomeis and Brian Murray said they needed more information to make a final decision.
Finally, at the third meeting, they stated that their questions on the city’s water and sanitation capacity had been adequately answered and that they had a positive outcome, provided that the reconstruction measures could be confirmed as sufficient by the representatives of the waterworks and sewer systems. However, the solution proposals for dealing with the expected increase in traffic were declared inadequate.
If the majority of city councilors vote for an agreement with Foxwoods Massachusetts, it will be submitted to the residents of the city of Milford for a vote. If they say goodbye to them, the city council must meet once again to agree to a zoning change that allows the construction of a casino before the official request to the Gaming Commission.
Despite the city council’s positive assessment of the risk-reduction plan, Rep. Carolyn Dykema and members of the Casino-Free-Milford Initiative continue to be critical of the construction project. The MP said in a statement to the Boston Globe that it was still uncertain whether the city’s waterworks would be able to carry this project.
Meanwhile, a Foxwoods analysis of the water supply and sanitation systems showed that after the planned expansion works, water production would increase to 135% of the water required for the project. The surplus would then be made available to the city. The results of the analysis were confirmed by both the project management and the management of Milford Waterworks.
With regard to sanitation, the sewer consultant stated that sufficient capacity was still available, provided that all expansion and remediation measures set out by Foxwoods in its risk reduction plan were implemented. Expenditure on the measures is expected to be borne by Foxwoods, with costs estimated at up to $ 3 million.
For city council members DeBartolomeis and Murray, increased traffic continues to be one of the project’s issues. Foxwoods’ traffic plan provides for connecting strips along Interstate 495 that provide access to Route 16 via the casino grounds. According to Murray, while this plan is certainly a solution, the expected traffic is still worrying.
While Murray is confident that soon all concerns will be resolved, the Casinoplan still has to survive a few sessions. Even a consent by the citizens is not yet finally secured.