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PALMER, MA (WSHM) -
Palmer town councilors have accepted the host community agreement with Mohegan Sun. They also set a date for a town-wide vote on the company's $1 billion casino proposal.
Mohegan Sun's project will sit on 300 acres in Palmer.
Nearly a week after Palmer's town manager signed a host community agreement with Mohegan, town councilors voted Tuesday night to accept it.
"We're overjoyed. This work has been on going for six years," said Paul Brody, the project coordinator.
Now that the council has accepted the agreement, Palmer has received a payment of $200,000 from Mohegan Sun. It will be followed up by another $200,000 payment should Mohegan win the casino license early next year.
That leaves the fate of Mohegan building in Palmer now in the hands of residents.
The council also voted to set Nov. 5 as the date residents would vote on whether or not to accept the host community agreement.
"It will be put on the ballot and hopefully a lot more info will be brought out," said Palmer Town Council President Philip Hebert.
Residents both for and against the agreement filled the town meeting room.
Resident Elaine Boone said she believes the Palmer host agreement is the best for not only the town but the entire Commonwealth.
"We have to look at the strong commitment Mohegan Sun has had to our community with the agreement. It has a great amount of benefits," said Boone.
But residents like Iris Cardin said there are still too many unanswered questions with the agreement.
"There's traffic, gridlock and crime. All these things weren't addressed," said Cardin.
Officials said they will work to get out all info to every voter before the Nov. 5 vote.
"I hope we'll have a good discussion on the agreement before we vote on it," said Palmer Town Councilor Donald Blais Jr.
Polls will be open on Nov. 5 from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Mohegan Sun is going up against MGM in Springfield and Hard Rock International in West Springfield for the lone Western Mass casino license.
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Thursday, July 31 2014 5:42 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:42:41 GMT
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