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Against the casino

Jan. 24, 2013 |

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino that has been proposed at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield is not going to be in the best interests of the town of Agawam. The town of Agawam borders the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition. There is already a negative impact on local traffic and a hardship to the residents of Agawam during the Big E and Six Flags seasons. Having a casino at the Eastern States Exposition, which directly abuts the Agawam town line is like having the casino within our town without any taxation or control. The town of Agawam overwhelmingly voted down a proposed casino in this town several years ago. This new proposed casino would negatively impact restaurants and businesses, public safety, schools, town infrastructure and increase addiction problems. The Big E and Six Flags traffic together with the casino traffic, with all the concerts and events will be a disaster for our town. There is no amount of compensation that is worth putting our town at such a risk, potentially destroying our quality and character of life in our community. Our town, the town of Agawam is a wonderful place to live and raise our families and we should be proactive to preserve and protect it for future generations. As elected officials who represent the residents of Agawam, it is our duty to raise our voices and stand in opposition to the proposed casino at the Big E, which will only benefit a small group of people. If the elected officials express their concerns; traffic, schools, public safety, impact on local business; and form committees to study those concerns; it appears that they already approve and support the casino at the Big E. We don't need a committee; we already know what problems will be caused if a casino comes to the Big E. The town officials should also communicate and express our concerns to the town of West Springfield and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and oppose the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at the Eastern States Exposition that abuts our beloved town of Agawam. George Bitzas City Councilor, Agawam

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