The MetroWest group that fought the Milford casino proposal spent $31,000 on that undertaking, its organizers said this week, while the town of Hopkinton alone shelled out $80,000 on casino-related matters, officials say.
Members of the MetroWest Anti-Casino Coalition, from Ashland, Holliston, Hopkinton and Medway, Friday billed the coalition as an example of successful regional collaboration.
“I believe the MetroWest Anti-Casino Coalition proved the theory to be true. … there is strength in numbers,” said chairman Brian Herr Friday.
“It was not about telling Milford residents what to do … but if in some small or even large way our work helped them in that regard, then that is also a good thing,” said Ashland Town Manager Anthony Schiavi.
The coalition formed earlier this year to help fend off Foxwoods’ proposal to build a casino in Milford. Milford voters this week killed that plan at the ballot box.
The coalition will redistribute the rest of the $100,000 it pooled to fight the casino to the four towns, Herr said.
The $31,000 the coalition spent paid for two studies that scrutinized Foxwoods’ claims about a casino’s potential impact to local roads and water infrastructure. The firm had talked of hiring an attorney but never did so.
The water study cost $14,293.75 and the traffic study $16,975, said Holliston Town Manager Paul LeBeau.
Medway Town Administrator Suzanne Kennedy called the partnership “extremely effective.”
“In a strange way it helped people come together,” said Holliston Selectman Jay Marsden.
The four towns have collaborated on other initiatives, including a veterans agent. Friday, officials said they would be interested in converging on other topics, too.
While each town contributed $25,000 to the Anti-Casino Coalition, Hopkinton residents at Town Meeting in May set aside $100,000 to fight the casino. Local officials on Friday provided a breakdown of spending so far.
The town has legal bills related to a lawsuit it filed against the state Gaming Commission for records about the people and businesses that backed the Foxwoods proposal.
The town’s law firm Miyares & Harrington billed $28,372 in fiscal year 2013 for casino-related matters, according to figures from the town finance director. So far in fiscal year 2014, the firm has charged the town $37,678, the town said.
In addition, the town paid engineer firm Weston & Sampson $6,000 and contributed $8,042 to the Anti-Casino Coalition, for a total of $80,093 on casino-related matters. There could be other outstanding legal bills, the town said.
Hopkinton Town Manager Norman Khumalo said selectmen will decide in a closed-door session whether to proceed with the lawsuit.
By Laura Krantz/Daily News staff
Posted Nov 23, 2013 @ 06:17 AM
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