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Medford councilor pushes opposition of Everett casino

Posted by Jarret Bencks  December 18, 2012 10:24 AM

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Medford City Councilor Michael Marks opposes a casino development in neighboring Everett, and he wants the full council to take the same stance.

Marks -- a resident of the Wellington area, the nearest Medford neighborhood to the proposed site -- has submitted a resolution asking the Medford council to oppose the development of a casino at the old Monsanto Chemical Co. site along the Mystic River off Route 16.

"This proposed casino's proximity to Medford would have a devastating impact on traffic, crime, pollution as well as a host of social and economic issues negatively impacting the quality of life for Medford residents," Marks wrote in his resolution.

Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn is in negotiations to lease the land in an attempt to secure a license from the state to build a casino at the site, located about 1 mile from the Medford border.

The Massachusetts casino law calls for the prospective host community to approve the project by referendum, but the developer also is required to negotiate mitigation with surrounding communities, which could be difficult around Everett.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone previously said he would do "everything in his power" to fight a casino in Everett if it meant building a new ramp to I-93 through Somerville. Medford's Community Development director Lauren DiLorenzo said building a concentrated development along Route 16 is "very concerning."

Marks's resolution will be considered in a meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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