Northampton seeking mitigation agreement with MGM - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Northampton seeking mitigation agreement with MGM

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NORTHAMPTON, MA (WSHM) -

Friday at 10 a.m., Agawam will announce its mitigation agreement with MGM, following Ludlow's lead from earlier this week.

While the city of Northampton is 16 miles away from the proposed site, they would like an agreement of their own.

Mayor David Narkewicz points to the state's casino legislation for his reasons.

It states: "potential negative impacts on local retail, entertainment and service establishments."

Narkewicz told CBS 3 that the $800 million casino resort would impact his city, which he calls the cultural hub of Western Massachusetts.

"Come here on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night and you'll see the kind of local economic engine that we are in that regard," Narkewicz stated.

The mayor said the casino has been in contact with the city, but has not been receptive to his side of the story. To build his case, he plans to ask city council on Thursday night to fund an independent economic impact study.

"This is an international company, one of the largest entertainment companies in the world, that will have a monopoly in Western Massachusetts," said Narkewicz. "We want to be able to look at data around what are the potential impacts."

One of Narkewicz's main concerns with MGM's agreement with Springfield is the promotion of concerts. He said that could have a negative impact on theaters in his city, like the Calvin.

"This is not about Springfield versus Northampton," said Narkewicz. "It's really about the whole region and making sure that everyone can benefit from what's happening in Springfield, but no one is harmed."

Narkewicz is asking the council for $22,000 to do the study.

If MGM does not reach an agreement with his city by the deadline on Dec. 31, the mayor said he will bring his case in front of the state's gaming commission.

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