Arbitrator: Longmeadow should get $4.4M from MGM


BOSTON (AP) — The town of Longmeadow has been authorized to receive about $4.4 million in compensation over 15 years from MGM as the gambling giant seeks to build a casino in neighboring Springfield, Longmeadow officials said Wednesday.

The town said a three-member arbitration panel picked Longmeadow's "best and final offer" for a surrounding community agreement that includes an $850,000 upfront payment and 13 annual payments of $275,000, which would begin when MGM opens its doors on its proposed $800 million casino.

MGM Springfield spokeswoman Carole Brennan said the Las Vegas-based company was disappointed with the panel's decision, which comes after another arbitration panel recently ruled in favor of West Springfield in its surrounding community agreement with the casino operator.

Brennan said the casino has submitted objections to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which will meet Friday to hear objections to the agreements, among other matters.

According to the town, MGM had offered Longmeadow two options: one had a potential overall value of up to $800,000 while another had a cumulative value of about $1.6 million. The town had initially sought about $8.4 million over the life of the agreement.

The arbitrator's decision follows an arbitration hearing where both parties presented their "best offers."

MGM has already reached a host community agreement with Springfield and surrounding community deals with Agawam, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Holyoke, Ludlow and Wilbraham. The gaming company is the only applicant for the regional resort casino license in western Massachusetts.

A city or town designated as a "surrounding community" in the state's casino licensing process is entitled to compensation from the casino because its community will be impacted in a range of ways, including increases in traffic, motor vehicle accidents, and use of emergency response services.

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