State Capitol Briefs – Afternoon Edition – Monday, Aug. 11, 2014

massachusetts state house

STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS – AFTERNOON EDITION – MONDAY, AUG. 11, 2014

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

GAMING COMMISSION TAKING FINAL THOUGHTS ON REVERE, EVERETT CASINOS

Neighbors of competing proposals for the lone Metro Boston casino license, Mohegan Sun in Revere and Wynn Resorts in Everett, have Monday and Tuesday night to finish airing their thoughts to the Gaming Commission, which will start deliberations in September. No Eastie Casino announced Monday it would boycott the “corrupt, illegitimate sham of a hearing.” The casino opponents are upset because a ballot question to site a casino in East Boston was defeated on the same November 2013 night when Revere voted in favor of a casino straddling the city line at Suffolk Downs, and the commission later allowed a Revere-only project to move forward. Hank Shafran, a spokesman for the Gaming Commission, said Monday’s meeting in Revere and Tuesday’s meeting in Everett will be the final chance for residents and others to voice their opinions on the projects. Four of the gaming commissioners will start meeting on Sept. 8 to discuss their own findings on economic development, finance, mitigation and site design, as they aim to decide on a license winner over the course of the week, Shafran said. Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby has recused himself from consideration of the Metro Boston casino license. The commission has already selected Penn National Gaming for a slots parlor in Plainville and a license for a casino in the western part of the state to MGM Springfield. The commission expects to issue a license for the southeast in August 2015, though voters will have an opportunity to outlaw casinos in a November ballot question. The Monday meeting is at the Revere High School Auditorium, and the meeting Tuesday will be held at Edward G. Connolly Center. Both meetings begin at 4 p.m. – A. Metzger/SHNS

SOUTH STATION PLATFORM RESURFACING PLANNED

The MBTA is getting ready to resurface the commuter rail platforms at South Station, the transit hub where trains arrive and depart day and night serving destinations to the south and west of Boston. Notes were attached to bicycles on a rack at South Station Monday warning their owners that the racks would soon be removed and that bike owners should be aware. An MBTA official subsequently told the News Service the bike racks need to be moved to the platforms can be resurfaced. To expand South Station from 13 to 20 tracks, the MBTA needs to acquire property near South Station occupied by the U.S. Postal Service and the authority’s capital investment plan has funds programmed for that purchase. According to an MBTA spokesman, no funds have been allocated for actual construction and transportation officials are working on a draft environmental impact report that will be submitted this fall as well as an environmental assessment report for the federal government. – M. Norton/SHNS

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