NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

June 26, 2013

Mistakes at Salisbury slots presentation causing concern

(Continued)

Beaulieu and Condon said the larger size isn’t the issue, but the errors have shaken their confidence in how much they can trust Cordish’s projections on the impact and benefits the “slotsino” could have on Salisbury.

“I would still have agreed to the workshop,” Beaulieu said yesterday, “But the mistake has an impact going forward with a company that made a presentation with that kind of error. I have to think about that.”

According to Snyder’s estimates, the development would bring 600 temporary construction jobs during the year-long building project during 2014, opening in 2015 with 700 permanent, year-round jobs available in the slots casino, from gaming, security, marketing, food service and administrative positions. Traffic wouldn’t be a big problem, he said, because the site is very close to interstates 495 and 95, bringing people quickly to the venue.

Condon, who twice challenged the small size as being able to accommodate the Cordish projects, said he gave Snyder two chances to change his figures at the meeting.

“Twelve thousand square feet was just too small; it didn’t make sense to me,” Condon said. “I don’t think he purposely presented misinformation, but these mistakes don’t give me a lot of confidence about the proposal made by this company. I don’t think (Snyder) is as prepared as he should be to make a presentation of this magnitude.”

Timing

Exacerbating the problem is that Cordish hasn’t given Salisbury officials long to get to know them or ponder the deal, since selectmen only learned about the proposal Monday night and have to sign a complex hosting agreement by July 25, to complete the first phase of the state-required process to bring gambling to Salisbury.

After that, voters must approve the proposal through a special referendum that can take place no later than Oct. 1. The hosting agreement must be signed and posted for voter review no later than 60 days before the referendum, Snyder said, putting the pressure on for speedy negotiations so the referendum can be posted no later than Aug. 1.

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