The mayor of Springfield Massachusetts and a top official with MGM Resorts International signed a casino development deal on Wednesday. The signing ceremony marks the start of a campaign to convince the city’s voters to ratify the agreement.
The Great American Clean Up, the nation’s largest community improvement project, is taking place today in several places, including Springfield Massachusetts. Hundreds of volunteers will pick up trash and small debris in parks, school yards and other public ways. One of the organizers is Mike Cass, an employee in the city’s Office of Housing. His specialty is graffiti removal. Cass is so good at it that his official business card identifies him as “The Eraser.” Cass spoke with WAMC’s Paul Tuthill.
Of the four companies competing for the lone casino license available in western Massachusetts, one has stood out when it comes to marketing. MGM Resorts International, which hopes to build a casino in downtown Springfield, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising.
Efforts by residents of a low- income housing cooperative in Springfield, Massachusetts to recover from the June 2011 tornado have been dealt another setback. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development , which funded the 90- unit complex nearly 40 years ago, is weighing foreclosure.
The city of Springfield is seeking an exception to Proposition 2 ½ , the Massachusetts property tax cap law, when it comes to casinos.
An $800 million resort casino could mean tens of millions of dollars annually in additional property taxes for Springfield. But Mayor Domenic Sarno said the city will not get the full financial benefits from a casino development unless a change is made to Prop 2 ½.
Special masses were said in Catholic churches in the region today to mark the installation of Pope Francis.
About 200 people braved a snowstorm to attend a noon mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield, where Bishop Timothy McDonnell declared it a day to rejoice.
The mass in Springfield took place several hours after the installation mass for the new pope was held under bright blue skies in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican . The crowd there was estimated at between 150,000- 200,000 people.
City councilors in Springfield Massachusetts have voted to reject a settlement with several banks over a foreclosure ordinance.
The vote means the city can implement the ordinance even if the banks continue to challenge its legality in the federal appeals court. The ordinance, passed in 2011, and upheld by a federal judge last year requires banks to post a$10,000 bond to maintain and secure vacant foreclosed property. City councilor Melvin Edwards said city taxpayers will no longer have to pay to eradicate the blight that results from foreclosure.
Community activists in several US cities are calling for changes in housing policies. They point to a shortage of affordable housing in the midst of a surplus of vacant, bank-foreclosed properties. One of the cities where anti-poverty activists point to what they see as a housing crisis is Springfield Massachusetts.