In one year’s time, the City of Everett will get a large check that reads “$25.3 million,” which will signal the opening of the doors to the new Encore Boston Harbor resort casino.
Until that time, the City will have to make due, and making due meant accepting a $12.5 million check from the Encore team on Monday night – the final of three pre-opening payments of $30 million to the City. At the same time, the company opened an employment information office in City Hall – complete with the gaming floor carpets and the Wynn five-star touches.
The focus of the evening for the City was the $12.5 million payment, which came in a year when the City is, and expected, to struggle with its finances. Though the tax rate hasn’t yet been set, Mayor Carlo DeMaria told the Independent that the payment would go to tax relief to help capital projects, schools and rising tax bills coming as a result of more valuable properties.
He said every dollar that doesn’t come from the taxpayers is a way to reduce the City Budget overall. The Encore payment was approved later on Monday by the Council to be used directly to off-set the City Budget.
“The $30 million upfront payment was to be used only for capital improvements for the city,” he said. “So we’re offsetting all of the debt for the parks, and the construction projects. This $12.5 million is going everywhere. It’s a revenue source we’re able to use to keep operations of the City going without taxing residents for it. The name of the game is to bring in more revenues and have less expenditures. When they’re fully operational, these revenues will be doubled, maybe even tripled, with room taxes and meals taxes. Today’s $12.5 million will go to capital improvements to offset parks, schools, police, fire – really to reduce the debt burden on our residents.”
The two previous payments were also used for tax relief as well.
In a second celebration with Encore Boston Harbor, the company cut the ribbon on the new Encore Boston Harbor employment office at City Hall.
Located adjacent to the elevator on the third floor, the office is decked out with Wynn-style carpet from the gaming floor of the future casino, and has the special Wynn touches as well.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said it was a promise of jobs coming through.
“From day one, what I’ve been most excited about is getting jobs to Everett residents and hiring those Everett residents,” he said. “To have an office at City Hall makes it easier to access those jobs. Everyone has come to City Hall at some point and everyone asks about these jobs. All of that information will be right here.”
Encore Boston Harbor President Bob DeSalvio said opening the office is a reminder of
“Fifty-two weeks from now, when we open Encore Boston Harbor, we want it to be filled with workers and vendors from in and around Everett,” said DeSalvio, noting that the casino target date to open is on June 25, 2019. “The Mayor of Everett is doing an excellent job putting our pre-opening payments to good use for all in his city, but having residents working at our resort is what’s really important to him, and to us. More than jobs, these are long-lasting careers that can have a positive impact on individuals and their families.”
State Sen. Sal DiDomenico said the two things were an example of Encore following through.
“You hear about promises all the time,” he said. “You don’t hear a lot about people delivering on promises. Encore has underpromised and overdelivered. They have become part of our community. The jobs coming to our community – you can’t talk enough about that.”
State Rep. Joe McGonagle said he was pleased to work with the company.
“Everything Encore promises and said they would do, they are doing it – especially with the jobs,” he said.
The Encore Boston Harbor Career Center will be staffed by resort personnel during regular Everett City Hall hours and will be a resource for residents of Everett and other local communities to learn more about working at the five-star global resort. Visitors to the Career Center will have the ability to identify and apply for current jobs, review upcoming positions, match personal skills and experience to jobs, compare benefits and more.
Everett resident Rita Eliseo, who has been working to promote the Wynn Red Card program, has been promoted and will staff the City Hall office.