Jobs and the Impact on the Local and Regional Economy
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s First Light Destination Resort Casino will bring thousands of good jobs to the local market. The project will support approximately 2,500 direct jobs and another 2,000 indirect jobs in the City of Taunton at full build-out. It will generate a total of $102 million in wages to workers in the City and another $24 million in wages for jobs in the rest of Bristol County and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition to the jobs created for the casino’s operations, another 2,500 jobs will be created related to construction. That’s just about 7,000 jobs created!
Project First Light will have jobs in all different capacities! The project will employ people in administrative, table game, retail, food and beverage, marketing, and support positions, among others. Operations will require people in both full and part-time jobs.
Clean Water for East Taunton
The Project First Light Destination Resort Casino has already installed new upgrades to the City of Taunton water system. The much-needed upgrades took place in East Taunton, where the project is situated. These installments upgraded the Stevens Street and Pine Hill Street water mains to new 16-inch water mains that service all customers in the area. The mains were installed to add pressure and volume to the system in this location. Before the improvements, the water mains were old and had tuberculation built up on the insides of the water main walls, causing discolored water on occasion. The replacement of these water mains has eliminated this problem. Additional areas of East Taunton will receive pipe lining that will greatly increase the quality of water currently being distributed through the deteriorating pipes in those locations. These changes and improvements have resulted in cleaner water for the community!
Emergency response has been a serious issue in East Taunton for years. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has agreed to provide funding to the City of Taunton for fire protection and emergency medical services, including dispatch service to the Trust Lands. The Tribe will also provide additional funding for emergency response related needs.
The Tribe is committed to making sure there is adequate safety at the casino site and the surrounding area. The Tribe and the City of Taunton have an agreement that will allow law enforcement officers to enter the Tribe’s reservation lands to provide law enforcement activities for non-tribal casino goers. The Tribe has agreed to fund the salaries for additional officers, pay for training, and pay for new equipment and additional facilities to increase Taunton law enforcement capabilities. The Tribe also has its own Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal police force and officers for tribal members.
Traffic has been a main concern to the residents of Taunton in regards to the project. The Tribe has agreed to a $30 million traffic improvement plan. This plan was developed by a team of engineers in conjunction with MassDOT and with input from the community at large. The resulting plan improves dangerous and inefficient intersections, and widens Route 140 off of Highway 24. The traffic design plan mitigates the impact of casino traffic in the surrounding community through various measures. These include prohibiting tractor trailer traffic and discouraging other vehicular traffic from making a left turn when leaving the casino on Stevens Street and improving intersections such as Hart’s Four Corners.
Tribal Sponsorship in the City
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has been a constant supporter in the Taunton community since talks of Project First Light took place. The Tribe continues to demonstrate its active commitment to the City of Taunton and the community by sponsoring local festivals, events and youth activities such as sports teams. Since 2012, the Tribe has donated more than ten of thousands to Taunton programs and activities. As a responsible community partner, the Tribe strives to be an integral part of Taunton. Some of the donations have been made to these organizations:
- Taunton Area School to Career
- Boys & Girls Club of Taunton
- Downtown Taunton Foundation
- Taunton 100th Lighting of the Green
- “Stuff the Bus” Greater Taunton Charitable Association
- Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce
- Taunton Gladiators
- Rotary Club of Taunton
- Old Colony YMCA
- Taunton Slow-Pitch Softball
The Silver City Galleria will be one of the primary beneficiaries of tourism in Taunton. Increased activity at the casino will directly result in a larger market for the mall, which would warrant additional investment in the mall. With potentially new stores, the residents of Taunton will benefit from a better merchant selection. Existing businesses will also receive additional revenue from those visiting to enjoy the casino.