Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria announced that the city had reached agreement with Wynbn Development on a host agreement for a resort casino in Everett, clearing another of the milestone’s necessary to gain state approval to develop a casino in the Eastern Region of the state.
According to Mayor DeMaria, who unveiled some of the specifics of the agreement during a 5 p.m. press conference last Thursday, April 25, the agreement calls for a one-time payment of $30 million to a city run Community Enhancement Fund. That $30 million would be paid to the city during construction and development of the casino resort.
“We’re very excited to bring this agreement to the people of Everett,” said Mayor DeMaria, during Thursday’s press conference. “we’ve spent a few months working on this and we think we’ve brought a good deal together for the city of Everett. . .With this agreement, I know the city won’t get hurt by the casino proposal.”
Everett will also receive $25.2 million directly to the city budget once the casino resort opens for business. The annual payments to the city include $20 million directly in real estate taxes, a $5 million community impact fee and a $250,000 donation to the, to be established, Everett Citizens Foundation to fund community initiatives. The payments to the city would also rise by 2.5 percent per year, throughout the course of the agreement.
DeMaria explained that the $30 million community enhancement fund would largely be used to pay for infrastructure improvements to the city, including new police and fire stations to ensure public safety and other capital improvements.
The $5 million annual Community Impact Fee would also be used to enhance police and fire department operations to ensure public safety once the casino resort opens.
The agreement also includes a promise to purchase $50,000 annually to purchase vouchers and gift certificates form local businesses, an estimated 2.5 million in annual hotels and restaurant taxes and payments to the city for costs incurred by items necessary for the project, including determining impacts to the community, holding a special election as called for in the state gaming legislation, upgrades to electric, gas and water/sewer infrastructure.
Wynn has also committed to a complete investment of more than $1 billion in the city, including an as yet unspecified investment in traffic improvements for Route 16 and Route 99, as well as waterside improvements, cleaning of the brownfield site where the casino resort is planned and support for local artists and art programs.
In return for Wynn’s investments in the city and generosity in its financial package for Everett, the city promises to: support the project and assist in obtaining permits, etc needed for the project; petition to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for available funds, pursue development and approval of Everett’s first municipal harbor plan; work to amend zoning and other land use restrictions; and schedule a special election on the casino proposal.