By Josh Resnek
The city of Everett will be receiving in whole or in large part, approximately $1.1 million in community mitigation funds from a pool of $4.1 million in grants awarded by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to more than a half dozen communities impacted by the Encore casino and hotel.
The MGC approved these grants during a public meeting in its Boston office on July 18. Since 2015, the MGC has awarded approximately $16 million in grants from the Community Mitigation Fund.
A Community Mitigation Fund review team conducted a comprehensive review of all applications to ensure compliance with the 2019 Guidelines and made recommendations to the Commission.
After deliberation on those recommendations, the Commission voted to award the following grants:
GRANTS AWARDED 2019 TYPE OF APPLICATION AWAR DESCRIPTION
City of Everett
The grant will provide funding for the Everett Police Department to pay the salaries of officers that were trained at Northern Essex Community College. These new officers will replace officers transferred to the Gaming Enforcement Unit.
City of Revere/Town of Saugus
The grant will provide funding to further advance the planning and design of improvements along the Route 1 project corridor. Environmental Impact Reports prepared for Encore Boston Harbor envisioned approximately 9% of the traffic would be using the Route 1 corridor to get to/from the casino.
City of Everett / City of Somerville
The grant will provide funding to fully design a connection from Draw 7 Park in Somerville across the MBTA tracks to the Assembly Square Orange Line Station head house. The MBTA head house expansion is part of a broader effort to connect pedestrians and bicyclists to a regional pathway network and to provide a way over the Mystic River from Everett, opening new transportation options to thousands of people.
City of Chelsea / City of Everett
The grant will provide funding for the creation of a trilingual Enterprise Center at the Chelsea Campus of Bunker Hill Community College. The center will provide skills training and services to entrepreneurs, existing businesses, and workers, initially focusing on the hospitality sector. The initiative will create a pipeline of workers and businesses to support and provide services to the Encore Boston Harbor and its guests, and provide a skilled workforce to backfill open positions within the communities as workers are hired by the casino.