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Foxborough, Wrentham, Mansfield worry over slots parlor proposal in neighboring Plainville

Posted by Your Town  September 13, 2013 05:00 PM

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With last week’s vote putting plans for a slots parlor in Plainville back on track, officials in Foxborough are renewing efforts to get financial compensation for the uptick in traffic and “social problems” they say the casino may cause.

Wrentham and Mansfield are also considering their options.

That doesn’t sit well with Plainville officials and many residents in the small town just a few miles south of Gillette Stadium.

“I don’t think people in glass houses should be throwing stones,” Plainville Town Administrator Joseph Fernandes said, referring to Foxborough.

“I fail to see how, in any significant way, this could impact them anywhere near to the degree [Gillette Stadium] impacts us. It’s extremely disingenuous considering their impact on other communities,” he said.

Dale Bergevine, a 55-year resident of Plainville and member of the pro-casino group People for Plainville, took it even further.

“They should be embarrassed to come here and ask for anything,” he said.

Foxborough’s officials, as well as those in Mansfield and Wrentham which also border Plainville, tabled any effort to negotiate mitigation when it appeared the Plainridge project was dead last month after the state Gaming Commission determined its owners unsuitable to hold a license.

But plans for a slots parlor and restaurant complex at Plainridge Racecourse at the junction of Interstate 495 and Route 1 were resuscitated two weeks ago when Penn National Gaming made an eleventh hour move to secure an option to buy the harness racing track after its bid for a slot parlor in Tewksbury failed.

Last Tuesday town voters endorsed the proposal by a slightly better than 3 to 1 margin in a townwide binding referendum.

That has pushed the Foxborough Board of Selectmen to put the topic on the agenda for its next meeting Tuesday night, according to acting Town Manager Robert F. Cutler.

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