Paul Tuthill

Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief

Paul Tuthill is WAMCâââ

Final plans have been filed for the MGM Springfield casino project.

The filing of the final complete site plan for the project, announced by city officials Monday, triggers a 30-day review and the requirement the City Council hold a public hearing within 45-days.

At a public presentation on the casino project in Springfield last week, the city’s deputy director of  planning, Phil Dromey said his department is anxious to complete the regulatory reviews.

" It is time really to get to the nuts and bolts of this," he said.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is scheduled to come to Springfield on December 3 for a public meeting where officials from MGM are expected to present a comprehensive cost and design analysis of the latest plans for a casino in the city.

MGM officials say the budget to develop a resort casino in Springfield has increased to $950 million -- $150 million more than the estimated investment when the gaming commission awarded a license for the project in June 2014.

MGM has reaffirmed its commitment to build a resort casino in Springfield, Massachusetts and now plans to spend an additional $150 million in the project.

MGM will invest $950 million to develop the resort casino in Springfield despite design changes that reduce the size of the project, and eliminate a 25-story hotel tower.

MGM President Bill Hornbuckle announced the new budget for the project at a presentation Wednesday night for city officials and residents. 

The highest court in Massachusetts has effectively cleared the way for construction of a wood-burning power plant in Springfield. Plant opponents see their last hope in the hands of a local health board.

The state Supreme Judicial Court this month declined to take up an appeal of two lower court decisions that directed the city to issue a building permit for the proposed $150 million biomass plant on Springfield’s eastside.  The project had been tied up in litigation for more than five years.

Police in Springfield, Massachusetts are reporting one of the biggest heroin busts in the city in recent history.

Police, after what was described as a lengthy investigation, raided a home in the city’s Liberty Heights neighborhood Thursday night, and seized nearly 22,000 bags of heroin, three handguns, and about $3,000 cash. 

Springfield Police Dept. spokesman Sgt. John Delaney said the heroin has a street value estimated at $110,000.

MGM officials will have a chance next week to explain to a skeptical public the reasons behind the proposed downsizing of the Springfield casino.

  City officials have arranged for MGM to make a public presentation Wednesday afternoon at the 300 seat City Stage theater.  MGM has been under fire in Springfield since disclosing last month, in a regulatory filing, plans to reduce the scope of the project by 14 percent.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has said his administration is carefully reviewing the proposed changes.

The highest court in Massachusetts may have dealt a fatal blow to opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in Springfield.

The state’s Supreme Judicial Court has refused to consider an appeal of two lower court rulings that directed the city to issue a building permit for the controversial project.

A spokesman for Palmer Renewable Energy said they looked forward to bringing the $150 million biomass energy project to fruition after  nearly 8 years of legal challenges. 

Massachusetts gaming industry regulators are soliciting public comment on MGM’s proposed changes to the Springfield casino project.

In its most recent regulatory filing on the design changes, MGM says it expects as much as an 8 percent drop in casino traffic.

Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby and the other commissioners want to know the reasons for the proposed changes and the possible impact on jobs and revenue.

Voters in Springfield, Massachusetts returned Domenic Sarno to the mayor’s office for four more years.

Sarno rolled up more than 77 percent of the vote in trouncing political novice Sal Circosta. 

Sarno said the huge margin of victory sent a resounding message that people are confident in his ability to move the city forward. Sarno said he is looking forward to another four years as Springfield’s mayor.

"I love this job. I love this job," said Sarno. " We ran on our record."

Voters head to the polls in more than 50 Massachusetts cities and towns Tuesday to cast ballots for mayor and other local offices.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, seeking reelection to a fourth term, faces a politically inexperienced challenger in Sal Circosta, a former bakery story owner. 

Sarno, who won the September preliminary election with 75 percent of the vote, declined all debate invitations. It made for a sleepy campaign, in the view of Matt Szfranski, editor-in-chief of Western Massachusetts Politics and Insight.

The top executive from MGM Resorts International reaffirmed his commitment to the Massachusetts casino project in Springfield this week and apologized for a communications breakdown with City Hall over a proposal to reduce the scope of the development. He also said more changes are in store for the $800 million project, but nothing he would consider major.

The top brass from MGM Resorts International are coming to Springfield, Massachusetts this week to do some fence- mending.  Mayor Domenic Sarno and other city officials were blindsided by MGM’s proposal to downsize the Springfield casino project by 14 percent.  But, a detailed public explanation of the reasons for the changes proposed in the project will likely not be forthcoming this week.

This could be a pivotal week as officials in Springfield, Massachusetts determine how they will respond to the proposed downsizing of the casino planned by MGM Resorts.  The City Council is holding a special meeting this evening. City officials have invited top MGM officials to a meeting later in the week to explain the proposed changes.

MGM wants to shrink by 14 percent its proposed resort casino development in Springfield, Massachusetts. The proposal surprised and angered the city’s mayor, who has been one of the project’s biggest boosters.

More controversial changes have been proposed in the MGM casino project planned in downtown Springfield

MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis described the latest changes that will reduce the scope of the project by 14 percent as “tweaks.”

He said MGM will still spend in excess of $800 million to build the resort casino and he said the downsizing, will not impact jobs and projected revenue.

" So, we believe the project we are going to deliver will continue to evolve and will be a world class project," said Mathis.

Springfield, Massachusetts city officials were blindsided by the proposed downsizing of the MGM casino project. 

Springfield city officials Tuesday said they are concerned about the potential impact on revenue and jobs from the 14 percent reduction in the scope of the casino project.  Most of the downsizing is planned on the retail and entertainment side, not the gambling floor. 

Mayor Domenic Sarno vowed to hold MGM to its promises to deliver thousands of jobs and $25 million annually to the city.

MGM is scaling down the size of the proposed resort casino project in Springfield, Massachusetts

MGM is reducing the size of the project by 122,000 square feet according to a revised environmental impact report filed with the state.  

Although no change is planned in the size of the casino gambling floor there would be downsizing in the retail, dining and entertainment parts of the project.

Earlier MGM scrapped a planned 25-story hotel.

Springfield City Council President Mike Fenton said once again city leaders were caught off guard by MGM.

More technology is being put into fighting crime in Springfield, Massachusetts. The city’s police department will become the first in the Northeast to use a system that developers say allows for true real-time crime analysis.

Could a Boston Red Sox affiliate minor league baseball team someday play in a brand new stadium in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts?    As one city official said, “Don’t be afraid to dream.”

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has had discussions with the managing general partner of the Pawtucket Red Sox about relocating the Triple-A team from its longtime Rhode Island home to Springfield.

"There has been talk and chatter and I am open to formal discussions," said Sarno.

MGM executives plan to update city officials within 30 days on the Springfield casino project.

MGM said in a news release Wednesday there would be updates on historic preservation discussions, concepts for a new marquee, and developments in offsite housing. 

Last month, MGM shook up city officials with a new design that eliminated a 25-story hotel from the $800 million project. 

City Council President Mike Fenton said MGM has to sweeten the deal with the city, to get the council to OK the new plan.

The president of the Springfield, Massachusetts City Council isn’t giving up on getting a popular vote on MGM’s controversial casino redesign.

City Council President Mike Fenton said he’ll appeal to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to order a binding voter referendum on the proposed new design for the Springfield casino.

Fenton said MGM’s plan to eliminate a 25-story hotel from the project substantially changes the host community agreement Springfield voters approved two years ago.

A top official with MGM Resorts International Monday pledged the company’s strong commitment to building a casino in Springfield. MGM upped the ante by announcing plans to take a former school department building off the city’s hands and redevelop it.

A top executive with MGM Resorts International will be in Springfield next week to publically assure the company’s commitment to build a casino in the city.

A private meeting between MGM President Bill Hornbuckle and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, with a press conference to follow, was arranged after MGM disclosed plans to eliminate a 25-story hotel tower from its planned casino and substitute a more modest hotel design. 

“Skyrocketing” construction costs were blamed for the change. 

There will be no voter referendum on the controversial changes proposed in the design of the MGM Springfield casino.

Springfield City Council President Mike Fenton, who had hoped to put a non-binding question on the municipal election ballot to gauge public opinion on MGM’s plan to eliminate the high-rise hotel from the casino project, withdrew his resolution.

" We ran out of time," said Fenton.  " I think it is unfortunate because I believe it deserved further review and consideration."

A Chinese company will receive a sizable tax break for building a $95 million subway car factory in Springfield, Massachusetts and creating at least 150 permanent jobs.  The Springfield City Council unanimously approved the deal after the company pledged its “best efforts” to fill most of the jobs locally.  

A last- ditch court fight will be waged by opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in western Massachusetts.

The  Springfield City Council, with the bare minimum of seven councilors present to be able to conduct business, voted unanimously at a special meeting Friday morning to appeal to the state’s highest court the decisions of lower courts that directed the city to issue a building permit to Palmer Renewable Energy.

Voters in Springfield may get a chance to weigh- in on the controversial changes proposed for MGM’s resort casino project. 

Springfield City Councilors at a special meeting Tuesday will consider adding a non-binding referendum to the Nov. 3 election ballot. 

The question proposed by council president Mike Fenton asks if voters support changing the development agreement between MGM and the city to eliminate a high-rise glass façade hotel from the casino project.

Officials from MGM Resorts Thursday sought to persuade at times skeptical Massachusetts casino industry regulators that proposed design changes to the company’s Springfield casino project would be an improvement and not a downsizing.

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts has scheduled a special meeting to vote on a sizable tax break for a subway car manufacturer after a vote at a regular meeting was unexpectedly delayed. 

The Springfield City Council will meet Tuesday to vote on a tax incentive agreement with CRRC USA Rail Corp, which is planning to build a $95 million factory in east Springfield to build subway cars. The agreement,  if approved, would save the Chinese company $10 million over a 10-year period in exchange for a promise to create at least 150 jobs.

Massachusetts later this month will join with a majority of the other states and ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.  New statewide regulations will fill a void that led to a patchwork of local rules about the product that is growing in popularity while the health risks are unknown.