Council Keeping Eye on Casino Property

Plans for a new 25,000-seat soccer stadium in Everett across from the Encore Casino look to be on hold for the immediate future, but Chelsea officials want to make sure the city has a seat at the table if any future plans do move forward.

The state Senate had advanced the proposal by inserting special language in a supplemental budget bill that would have detached 43 acres for the stadium and a waterfront park from the city’s Designated Port Area. But leadership in the House did not include the special language necessary for the proposal in its version of the spending bill.

Still, several Chelsea City Councilors want to make sure the city stays in the loop about future development in its neighboring community.

Council President Leo Robinson introduced a motion asking that the council request a meeting with its state legislative delegation regarding the proposed soccer stadium at Encore and what potential benefits it would bring to Chelsea.

The motion was referred to the council’s subcommittee on government regulations.

“This one goes to something I have been talking about for awhile among people in the community about how the building of the soccer stadium in Everett is going to negatively affect Chelsea,” said Precinct 1 Councilor Todd Taylor.

Taylor noted that Everett got a sweetheart deal in getting their industrial zones changed to residential, giving it the ability to recoup millions of dollars of tax revenue.

“It is very important, there are a lot of things that Chelsea is footing the bill for that we are not being properly compensated by the state,” said Taylor. “It is incumbent on our delegation to also represent those needs to the General Court so that Chelsea can get the financial aid that it needs and we don’t always have to foot the bill for things that we really can’t afford while other wealthier communities are getting off scott-free.”

Robinson added that while the soccer stadium appears to be off the table at the current time, the city still needs to be on the table for whatever happens on the casino property that could impact Chelsea.

“We need to be paying attention to what is going on over there,” he said.

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