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Boxborough selectmen crush slots parlor plan

BOXBOROUGH — The Board of Selectmen ended plans Monday night by a Maryland developer to proceed with a proposal to turn a Holiday Inn off Interstate 495 in Boxborough into a $200 million boutique hotel and slot machine parlor complex.

A crowd of more than 135 cheered as the board’s five members voted 4 to 1 against entering into negotiations with the Cordish Companies to ­locate a slot machine parlor in town.

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There were no representatives from Cordish at Monday night’s meeting, but Joe ­Weinberg, a company managing partner, asked residents last week for more time to show the financial and other benefits he said the town would receive from allowing a slot machine parlor in town.

Selectman Raid Suleman dismissed that argument.

“Personally, I’m against casinos. . . . I don’t care about the money, even if it would pave our streets with gold; let’s not sell our town,” he said, before voting against the motion to proceed with negotiations.

Board member Frank ­Powers who cast the lone vote in favor of exploring the plans, said he was not advocating for the proposal, but simply wanted to keep the door open while the town does its due diligence.

The overwhelming majority of community response indicated the town had heard enough, however, according to Board of Selectmen chairman Leslie Fox.

Fox said the town had ­received 217 e-mails and letters since the plans first surfaced April 22, with 88 percent against the proposal and 12 percent in favor of allowing more time to explore the potential benefits.

Ellen Ishkanian can be reached at eishkanian@gmail.com.
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