EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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August 11, 2013

Andover frustrated by lack of information on proposed casino

Officials say there is little time to do a comprehensive review of project


Penn National announced earlier this week that if Tewksbury OKs the casino, it would give a $900 million grant to help the police and fire departments in that town.

In addition, under the host community agreement reached between Penn and Tewksbury, the town will receive $1 million dollars in annual mitigation payments and $120,000 dollars annually to fund capital expenditures. Coupled with an estimated $3 million dollars in annual tax revenue, the town is expected to receive over $4.1 million in annual revenue if the project is developed. The project is expected to create 1,000 construction jobs and 500 permanent positions.

Andover, which has been designated a “bordering community,” may also be in line for mitigation money.

Materazzo said he would be speaking with local police and fire officials in the coming weeks to develop a “public safety scope and identify consultants to assist the town.”

He is also speaking with consultants to determine the impact of a slots-only casino on downtown businesses. RKG, a marketing firm used by the town in the past, will be looking at the impact of a casino on not just downtown businesses, but businesses throughout Andover.

“The idea of all this is to line up consultants so that once details become available, they’ll be ready to go,” he said.

Selectmen asked Materazzo to provide weekly reports via email to town officials.

A Tewksbury planning board meeting is scheduled for tomorrow night, during which Materazzo hopes additional information will be made available.

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