Longmeadow and West Springfield win arbitration ruling

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – MGM’s not too happy about the result. For the second time this week, an arbitration panel sided with a town over MGM Springfield.

MGM Spokeswoman Carole Brennan called it a “disappointing ruling.” If approved by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Longmeadow will receive what they asked for from MGM.

Both sides gave their best and final offers for a surrounding community agreement. After deliberation, a 3-person arbitration panel favored Longmeadow over MGM.

Longmeadow Town Manager Stephen Crane said, “Affirmed what we were saying for months about traffic and public safety impacts.”

If MGM wins the license to build an $800 million casino in Springfield, Longmeadow will receive an upfront payment of $850,000 and an annual payment of $275,000.

Earlier this week, a different arbitration panel sided with the Town of West Springfield. Their upfront payment will be $665,000 and an annual payment, $425,000.

These upfront payments will be used to improve each town’s roadways.

Patrick Shinoda of Longmeadow said, “Every time an accident on 91 Northbound occurs, the traffic backs up on Route 5. My mother and father-in-law live on Route 5 and they are impacted by the traffic.”

The Gaming Commission will need to give its final approval for the arbitration panels’ rulings on surrounding community agreements. A hearing will be held on Friday in Boston for both West Springfield and Longmeadow.

Crane said, “The decision that the panel made for West Springfield, as well as Longmeadow, and the similarities on how they view the situation, leads me to conclude that the Gaming Commission will also see that our best and final offer was really the fair and reasonable one.”

Longmeadow and West Springfield are the only towns left that need signed surrounding community agreements before the licensing process can move forward.

MGM has already agreed to surrounding community deals with Ludlow, Wilbraham, East Longmeadow, Chicopee, Agawam and Holyoke.

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