The City of Boston confirmed late on Wednesday, Feb. 4, that it would put in a “placeholder” application for the inaugural round of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s (MGC) Community Mitigation Fund (CMF) – despite having filed a lawsuit against that agency just about one month ago.
The deadline for applications to the CMF were last week, and the MGC took up the issue at its meeting last Thursday, Feb. 5.
While other communities had confirmed their applications to the Fund – which is pegged at basically an automatic $100,000 planning grant in this, its first, year. The CMF is one of about 12 legislatively-mandated funds intended to benefit different segments of cities and towns and funded via taxes and fees leveled on gaming operators. The CMF is the first of those funds to be tapped, thought there are other funds meant to mitigate transportation, tourism, education and others.
While there are millions of dollars sitting in those funds, the first year of the CMF was limited to the $100,000 planning grants due to the fact that construction hadn’t yet started.
“The City is eligible for funds through the mitigation reserve fund, which is intended to offer mitigation for analysis previously undertaken by a given city/town,” read a statement from the Boston Mayor’s Office. “The City submitted an application in order to preserve that eligibility.”
Some close to the situation, who wished to remain anonymous, said they questioned whether or not the acceptance of and application for the funds would weaken the legal standing in the City’s lawsuit – perhaps tacitly accepting the Mitigation Agreement crafted by the MGC that Boston doesn’t currently acknowledge.
That, of course, is up to a judge to figure out somewhere down the line.
The City said it did not believe that its lawsuit against the MGC would be compromised by the application they put in for the inaugural round of the CMF.
“Retaining the City’s eligibility for the reserve fund is fiscally responsible and it is an action that is separate from the objection to the Gaming Commission’s issuance of the Region A license,” read a statement from the City on the matter.