Mike Franco for State Senate 2014! Message Board › Ferrera - Historic Revenuer & Regulator
And useful idiot plant for corrupt Springfield powers-that-be..
Council President James Ferrera asks MGM Resorts to amend casino agreement
By Peter Goonan, The Republican
The Republican, Friday, July 12, 2013
SPRINGFIELD — With a casino vote set for Tuesday, City Council President James J. Ferrera III is urging MGM Resorts International to amend its host community agreement with the city by adding the minimum amount of money it will invest into the project.
The City Council voted unanimously in favor of the agreement on May 10, setting the stage for Tuesday's referendum on it.
Ferrera’s request for a guaranteed minimum price, which he has raised in the past without success, including prior to the council vote, was raised again on Friday after Hard Rock International reached a casino agreement with West Springfield that stipulates it will spend at least $800 million.
If Hard Rock can guarantee a minimum price in its host community agreement, so can MGM, Ferrera said.
“I am very disappointed in the fact that MGM has failed to incorporate the total amount of its investment,” Ferrera said. “I am calling on MGM to amend the host agreement so people know the total investment.”
MGM has stated it will spend a minimum of $800 million on the Springfield project in the South End, but does not guarantee that price. Instead, city officials said they made requirements in the agreement for the type of construction (Class A), the type of facilities and the square footage that would be created by MGM.
Ferrera said he voted for the casino agreement but made it clear that he objected to the lack of a price.
Ferrera said he does not envision a problem with MGM making that change before Tuesday’s election.
Kevin Kennedy, the city’s chief development officer, said the ballots are printed, and “the numbers and agreements are specified for the people to vote on next Tuesday.”
Regarding Ferrera’s concerns, Kennedy said “we already had that exact same discussion, and our consultant pointed out it is better to define exactly what you want somebody to build rather than specify a dollar number.”
“If you specify dollar number, you are subject to possible inflation, and higher interest rates and then you end up with a lesser development,” Kennedy said.