The town negotiated a deal with Penn National Gaming that sees the operator pay a flat fee of $225,000 per month to offer the venue’s 1,250 slots alongside a 40% tax that is guaranteed to net Plainville at least $2.7 million over the next five years.
According to a report from The Sun Chronicle, the next annual town meeting will see officials ask for voter support to spend $2 million towards the study and design of a new town hall and public safety building alongside a 4.5% increase in the annual town operating budget to $31.08 million.
“The finance committee is convinced of the need for a new town hall and public safety building,” read a statement from Plainville’s finance committee. “The finance committee does not make this recommendation lightly. By approving this article the town is essentially buying into the entire project.”
The finance committee declared that a new town hall and public safety building are needed because the existing structures are outdated and cramped. It stated that the construction of any new buildings would be paid for via the town’s Gaming Revenue Stabilization Fund for 20 to 25 years of a bond.
“We would anticipate going before [the] town meeting next year for the construction appropriation,” town administrator Jennifer Thompson told the newspaper.
Although no new town positions are to be proposed, Thompson revealed that the desired budget would provide additional funding to hire a full-time land use coordinator to handle all administrative matters of the town’s planning and zoning boards as well as its conservation commission.
“Plainville continues to face financial challenges to its ability to deliver services,” read the finance committee statement. “While we have restored some services like street lighting, the current financial situation remains tight and the short-term outlook continues to present serious concerns.”
Voters are additionally set to be asked on Monday to approve $339,200 for a new town ambulance alongside $140,000 for health and safety improvements to local government buildings. It is moreover hoped that residents will endorse the expenditure of $86,894 for the installation of diesel exhaust filtration systems in the local highway and fire department garages as well as $605,625 to improve water systems.
“Plainville is in a state of change with new development including apartment complexes, new neighborhoods and new businesses,” read the finance committee statement. “While this growth spurs revenue, it also requires more services.”