Curtatone making up with Wynn

Signs agreement promising to be good neighbor

SOMERVILLE MAYOR JOSEPH CURTATONE is making up with Wynn Resorts.

The mayor, who delayed by several months the construction of the Wynn Resorts hotel and casino in Everett by challenging a state environmental permit for the project, said on Monday that he would not pursue the matter further in court and announced an agreement with Wynn to jointly work on traffic issues in the area.

In a statement issued on Monday, Curtatone essentially declared victory by saying a couple of tweaks the state made to the permit resolved most of the community’s core concerns. “I want to be clear,” Curtatone said. “Our appeal was never about stopping the casino, but rather about our civic duty to protect the health, safety, and quality of life of our residents. While we did not get everything we asked for, the appeal did yield significant and meaningful results for our residents, so we feel the process worked.”

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

In its denial of Somerville’s appeal of the so-called Chapter 91 license, the Department of Environmental Protection reduced the duration of Wynn’s waterfront license from 85 to 50 years, required Wynn Resorts to operate boat service to the resort for the full term of the license, and increased open space at the site.

Somerville appealed the initial award of the waterfront permit for the Everett casino along the Mystic River, delaying by several months the construction of the $2.1 billion project. The appeal set off a war of words between Curtatone and Wynn officials.

Curtatone said the agreement with Wynn Resorts is a promise by both parties to be good neighbors. “This is not a financial settlement, but rather a commitment to be good neighbors and to work together to solve the issues that impact both the people and the economy of our region,” Curtatone said in his statement. “Greater Boston faces significant congestion and transportation challenges and also deserves the benefits of a thriving and growing local economy. The successful resolution of our appeal and the commitment of both the City of Somerville and Wynn MA to continue to tackle our shared needs are both a step in the right direction.”