Springfield casino site committee meets for first time since vot - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Springfield casino site committee meets for first time since vote

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

It's been just more than a week since 58 percent of the Springfield's voters approved MGM's plans for a South End casino.

Wednesday night, the city's casino site selection committee met for the first time since that vote.

The seats were mostly empty at city hall, but there was no shortage of passion, as people took to the podium to speak out.

"Someone has decided to choose a few people from the community in order to deal with and feel that those people speak for the entire community, and I'm here to let you know they don't," said Minister Glenn Turpin.

He and other casino opponents took turns at the podium concerned over traffic, jobs and gambling.

"Why would we jump on something like that, that is already at this stage showing all types of unsuitability," Turpin said.

Casino Site Committee Chairman, James Ferrera, who supports MGM, says he has questions of his own.

"The traffic that MGM's proposal could bring, along with and coupled to the fact that the issue that still remains unanswered is what is their capital investment?"

But he says the process allows for public speak-out and for everyone's voices to be heard.

"It is critically important that the public remain part of this process moving forward, and more importantly to have these meetings to ensure that there's transparency," he said.

Turpin says he'll remain a part of this process, but will continue to fight against the proposal.

"After listening to all the information and weighing the information that I got, there's no way I could go along with this."

Springfield site committee members are still waiting to meet with reps from Hard Rock, who is proposing a casino in West Springfield, so they can talk about traffic plans and effects on Springfield.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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