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Board releases draft of casino pact

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A draft of the host community agreement being negotiated by the town and developers of the proposed Foxwoods Massachusetts resort casino was released last week by the Board of Selectmen and posted online at The board is expected to discuss the 123-page document during its 7 p.m. meeting Monday in Town Hall, but is unlikely to vote on the measure until a later meeting, according to Selectman Dino DeBartolomeis. Completing the agreement, and having it approved by residents in a townwide vote, is part of the state application process for the proposed $1 billion complex off Interstate 495 and Route 16. The draft agreement, which details payments and mitigation measures that would be provided by the Foxwoods organization if the casino is approved by the state, covers several of the issues discussed during four information sessions held this summer. It includes requirements that the developers complete all traffic, water, and sewer improvements before an occupancy permit could be issued, and hire at least 3,000 employees, with two-thirds of the jobs being full time. It also spells out a payment schedule that includes $2.6 million annually for the town’s public safety departments and the school system. If selectmen sign an agreement with Foxwoods, a special election would be held this fall for residents to consider the measure. Special Town Meeting approval of zoning changes for the site would also be required before the application for the region’s one license for a full casino can be considered by the state Gaming Commission.

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