It cost the developers $400,000 to apply for a slots license. Of that fee, $50,000 is earmarked to help host and surrounding communities conduct impact studies, and negotiate mitigation agreements.
According to Ziemba, a community can ask an applicant for additional money for “technical assistance” should the $50,000 become exhausted. If the applicant refuses, the community can petition the commission to order the applicant to provide the funding.
Domenic Longobardi, Plainridge’s director of community relations and marketing, said he hopes to have a host agreement with Plainville officials finished by the end of this month, in time to hold an election for town voters to decide whether they want the parlor by Sept. 10. If voters approve, Longobardi said, Plainridge could be in position to be granted the license from the commission by mid-December, with the slots parlor opening in summer 2015.
In addition to the new parking garage at Plainridge, developers envision renovating the track’s 50,000-square-foot building and adding a 106,000-square-foot facility with 1,250 slot machines, as well as a restaurant, food court, and three bars.
Plainridge offers simulcast races 363 days a year, in addition to the harness season on its track from April through November, and is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Longobardi said the operators are in discussions with the town’s Planning Board to shift to an operation open 24 hours a day, every day.
A study commissioned by the town predicts that a slots parlor would bring 2.2 million vehicles to Plainridge in its first year, and the traffic would eventually decrease to 1.68 million vehicles annually.
According to Longobardi, 84 percent of the traffic would use I-495 to reach Plainridge.
The $125 million expansion would bring 400 new additional full-time jobs to Plainville, along with 300 construction jobs, he said.
John Swinconeck can be reached at johnswinc@ gmail.com.