This Saturday citizens of Everett will vote to decide if Wynn Everett, a $1.2 billion resort casino proposed by Las Vegas developer Steve Wynn, should be built on the former Monsanto chemical factory on the banks of the Mystic River. If approved, Wynn’s application for a casino license may advance to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Early indications are that the Everett casino proposal has strong support from city residents and will likely be approved.
In recent months, the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) has been in close contact with representatives of Wynn Everett to make clear our organization’s concerns and interests with regard to the development proposed at the Monsanto site.
We have provided detailed recommendations to insure that Wynn Resorts makes restoration of the Mystic River, as a living river system and recreational resource, a significant component of their plans. A development of the size and scope planned in Everett can deliver great benefit to the local environment, especially with regard to creating more open space and improving access to the river. Our message has been consistent: we want our Association members and Mystic River residents to be wowed by Wynn’s efforts to protect and restore the Mystic River.
At the same time plans for a casino at Suffolk Downs in East Boston continue to be developed. MyRWA remains in close communication with Suffolk Downs and its partners to insure that this project also produces superlative results for the Mystic River Watershed, if it is built. MyRWA has offered detailed comments on plans for casino development at Suffolk Downs, which are presented in the Environmental Notification Form filed for the project with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. You can review these comments here.
Either of these projects if approved will have a significant effect on the Mystic River Watershed in which they are proposed. We intend that the impacts of any casino development in the Mystic River Watershed are overwhelmingly positive for the local natural environment.
At the same time, we recognize that there are significant and legitimate concerns in the host and surrounding communities with regard to traffic and the social and economic impacts of casino gambling. We are sensitive to these concerns and will respectfully defer to those more qualified to address these issues as they arise.
These casino proposals are on a fast track. Resort casino applicants for the Boston region must submit their completed applications no later than December 31, 2013. Now is the time to weigh in to insure that the interests of the river are well represented as plans for the casinos are developed.
The Mystic River Watershed Association intends to do just that and we will remain in close communication with our members and with residents of the host and surrounding communities during the process.
We welcome your input. Feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Mystic River Casinos” in the subject line. We will continue to represent your concerns. The Mystic River Watershed Association will keep friends of the Mystic informed and alert you when there are opportunities to make your voices heard.
Thank you for your continued support of the Mystic River Watershed Association and for your dedication to protection and restoration of the Mystic River.
EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, Executive Director