Update, Oct. 3: Penn National has named Foxboro as one of the surrounding towns. Click here to read more.
When Penn National submits their application for the state’s slot parlor license later this week, no town including Foxboro will be named as a surrounding town.
Despite being left out, the town does plan on petitioning the state to be named as a surrounding town to be eligible for mitigation money.
According to Mass. Gaming Commission ombudsman, John Ziamba, the town will have the ability to file a petition up to 10 days after the application is received.
The selectmen did order interim town manager Bob Cutler to prepare a letter to petition the gaming commission to be named a surrounding town. If named one by the commission, the town will have 30 days to negotiate an agreement with Penn National.
Currently, Cutler is negotiating one but the work is sending mixed messages to some selectmen.
“It seems that Penn National can’t have it both ways. It’s either we are, they sent us a draft agreement, and they negotiate back in forth in good faith or we’re not,” selectman Jim DeVellis said.
According to Racino Proposal Review Committee chairman Michael Davidson, an increase in social problems should be expected if Plainridge gets the slots license.
“As far as the social issues I could back up a truck with the studies that say we’re going to have a problem,” Davidson said.
Davidson said he believed the issues of problematic gambling, an increase in DUIs, and water use are the main concerns with the racino but believed there would also be an impact on divorces, bankruptcy, child abuse, spousal abuse.
The impact on the water would be on the Witch Pond wells but the impact according to him could also be attributed to future 40B housing and future development.
On the traffic front there is not expected to be that much impact. According to Cutler, officials in Mansfield do not foresee a major impact in traffic and North Attleboro is only worried about Route 152. Cutler added he is not sure where officials in Wrentham stand on the issue.
Chairman Mark Sullivan disagreed on the impact, referring to a conversation he had with Penn National officials.
“I met with Penn National and they said they don’t see any social impacts, they don’t see any road impacts, any property value impacts. That’s what they said,” Sullivan said.
Cutler, who also attended the meeting believed they said there would be impact but they do not want to look at the actual impact until a year down the road, displeasing Sullivan.
“They said they want to visit it in a year and that means they’re not going to revisit it,” Sullivan said.
Penn National has until Oct. 4 to submit their application for the slots license. Additional bids are expected from facilities in Raynham and Leominster.