Millbury Slots Timeline

Someone had asked me what the timeline might look like for the proposed Millbury slots parlor. 

Here’s how I understand it, but I welcome corrections and amplifications:

1) Final Draft of Host Community Agreement – late July 2013
The Town and Rush Street Gaming need to execute (have a final draft of) the host community agreement by August 2013. (No, the date is not exact, and it’s unclear whether it would be the town manager or the board of selectmen.)

Reading the agenda for tomorrow (Tuesday) night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, it appears as if they are ready to sign a host agreement with Rush Street Gaming.  In that case, the date here would be July 23.

2) Town-wide Referendum on Host Community Agreement – late September 2013
After the host community agreement is executed, there needs to be a town-wide referendum no less than 60 days and no more than 90 days after the date the agreement is released. However, because things are happening so late for Millbury, I would anticipate it would be 60 days. The Gaming Commission website says this needs to happen by October, but since the Secretary of the Commonwealth needs ten days to certify the election, I’d say this needs to happen by late September at the latest.

3) Surrounding Community Agreements Negotiated – October 2013
For any community (like Worcester) that declares itself a surrounding community that could be impacted, Rush Street needs to negotiate with them by October 2013. However, they do not need to come to a signed agreement — if they cannot agree, the Gaming Commission will decide on what they think will be fair.

4) Rush Street submits RFA-2 application to Gaming Commission – October 4, 2013
According to the Gaming Commission, “This Phase 2 application form was designed by MGC as a vehicle for each applicant to demonstrate that it has thought broadly and creatively about creating an innovative and unique gaming establishment in Massachusetts that will create a synergy with, and provide a significant and lasting benefit to, the residents of the host community, the surrounding communities, the region, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and will deliver an overall experience that draws both residents and tourists to the gaming establishment and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

5) Gaming Commission selects a slots site – December 2013 – February 2014
And remember, the Gaming Commission can change the host agreement that the voters voted for!

For those of you in Millbury who are opposed, I wish you luck.

We’ve got a lot of information on No Slots Worcester, but as you can probably tell, this is a process that is stacked against anyone — pro or con — who would like to have a public discussion that provides voters with real information and consists of a dialog with real answers.

Rather, it’s a process where a town’s board of selectmen has an agenda item for their July 23 meeting to vote for a host community agreement, and then will have a public forum to discuss the proposal on August 12.

In other words, there’s more opportunity for public input before a vote in the case of a dangerous dog or a no parking zone than for a slots parlor that could royally screw up traffic (even more than it is already) and add crime and addiction to a town and its surrounding communities.

When the Worcester slots discussion was going on, there were a lot of folks who felt that voters should have the opportunity to vote on a host agreement. 

I could, perhaps, have agreed with that sentiment — if I hadn’t attended meetings in which plenty of voters were misinformed and misled by their elected officials, and told that their opinions didn’t matter.

Wouldn’t it be something if the elected officials who have such respect for the electorate would also take voters’ input before host agreements are signed?  Or, you know, let them see the host agreement they’re going to vote on before they vote on it?

Final days for Building 19 in Shrewsbury

As has been reported elsewhere, Building 19 will be closing its store in Shrewsbury.  When the decision was first announced, no dates were given, but on a recent visit, staff members mentioned that the store will close the first weekend of August.

The remaining inventory has been marked down as much as 80%, and staff have mentioned that merchandise that hasn’t sold well at other stores has been sent to Shrewsbury to get it moving.  Between the added inventory and the deep discounts, it might be worth your while to pay one last visit — and if that prospect isn’t enticement enough, you might also like to know about some incentives they’re now offering:


They have some promotional goods that date back to when the store was still called Spag’s, and even more stuff from a short-lived time when it was called Spag’s 19.

If you decide to make a purchase of any sort up to $10, you could get one of these bumper stickers:


Perfect for lovers of the Comic Sans typeface or fans of defunct websites

For purchases between $10 & $20, you could get a t-shirt:



. . . or a tote bag:


Many of the t-shirts say “Spag’s 19”, but a handful are just “Spag’s”.  They’re available in all sizes, and in either red or dark blue.  If you only wanted the shirt without making a $10 purchase, these can be bought for $2 each.

The tote bags are of very high quality, made of a heavy-duty coated fabric like that used in tarps.  The tote bags can also be bought for 59 cents each — a great deal!  They even have a little stitched-on tag that says “This bag for in store use only” and features the Spag’s logo.  Perhaps these were used before Spag’s finally invested in shopping carts?

If you spend more than $20, you can get a Spag’s (or Spag’s 19) polo shirt:


. . . or a Spag’s 19 cap:


The caps & polo shirts can also be bought by themseleves for $3 each.  The polos are available in red or dark blue, and the caps are dark blue with a red visor.

If grabbing a last-minute souvenir of Spag’s isn’t of any interest to you, stop by soon and see what other deals might be available.  And do grab a cup of their free coffee — if you don’t like it, remember that one day you’ll be old and weak as well.