Tuesday, December 11, 2012 • 6:52 AM Comments ()

Got Casino Questions?

posted by Maureen Turner

You’ve seen their ads, read about their various contributions to city organizations, checked out their “artist renderings” of what their projects would look like—and tonight you’ll have a chance to ask questions of the two casino developers competing to build in Springfield, MGM and Penn National.

While the two companies have sent representatives to various neighborhood meetings, tonight’s event is pitched as a major, city-wide forum, scheduled to last four hours. The program will begin with 45-minute presentations from each company; then the floor will be opened to the public, who can ask questions of the companies or city officials. And note: if you want to ask a question, you have to sign up when you arrive at the event.

Various groups around the city have been preparing for the forum by urging their members to ask questions that address their specific interests. Labor groups, for instance, plan to ask about job and training opportunities, the developers’ track records of working with union labor on other projects and their plans for hiring locally, among other issues. Members of the Springfield Preservation Trust, meanwhile, will ask the developers about how they’ll address historic properties within their proposed development sites.

Tonight’s meeting will be at CityStage from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; doors open at 4:30. Pete Goonan reports in today’s Republican that the forum will also be streamed live at MassLive.com and cbs3springfield.com and broadcast on CBS3's cable channels.

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