Town Selectmen in Tewksbury voted unanimously today (5-0) to support a Host Community Agreement with Penn National Gaming, Inc. (Nasdaq: PENN) for the Company’s proposed Category 2 slots-only facility project, budgeted at more than $200 million, that would be located at 300 Ames Pond Drive, near the intersection of Interstate 495 and State Route 133.
Per the Host Community Agreement, Penn National Gaming’s subsidiary has agreed to provide the following to the Town of Tewksbury:
- Annual estimated payments exceeding $4 million. This includes $3 million in estimated property taxes, $1 million in mitigation payments (which will increase by 2.5% annually beginning in year four of operations) and $120,000 contributions to fund Tewksbury’s capital expenditures and other beneficial projects and initiatives.
- Work to maximize opportunities for local residents and area businesses during the construction and operation phases of the facility, including employment, purchasing goods and services from local businesses, utilizing local contractors, and using significant local union labor through the creation of a roster of local residents who are members of various construction and other applicable unions. The project is expected to create approximately 1,000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction period and 500 permanent jobs upon opening.
- Commissioning a Traffic Impact Study and Infrastructure Capacity Assessment and funding infrastructure improvements identified in each, including road and sewer improvements, among others.
- Fully reimbursing the Town of Tewksbury for planning and peer review costs to determine the impacts of the project, including consultants and temporary staff.
- Implementing a responsible gaming plan in Tewksbury, including active participation in the Massachusetts Partnership for Responsible Gambling, promoting responsible gaming in daily operations, and supporting public awareness of responsible gaming, among others.
- Donating annually to non-profit entities that serve Tewksbury citizens. Penn National Gaming provided over $12.7 million total in 2012 to non-profit organizations in jurisdictions where it operates.
- Reimbursing the Town of Tewksbury for expenses related to a town election in which the citizens will decide whether to host a slots only facility.
“We are very pleased to reach this agreement with local officials on a project that we expect will result in over 1,500 new jobs and more than $4.1 million in annual economic benefits for the citizens of Tewksbury,” said Jeff Morris, Director of Public Affairs at Penn National Gaming. “We look forward to meeting directly with citizens and leaders of Tewksbury to review our proposal, answer questions, address concerns, and become partners with them in this significant economic development project.”
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