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Wrentham Selectmen Vote Against Casino

Selectmen take vote against Foxborough plan.

The Wrentham Selectmen voted at their meeting Tuesday night against supporting the possibility of a Foxborough casino.

Board Chairman Joseph Botaish said many Wrentham residents had sent in emails on the subject.

"I don't see any benefit to this," he said. "I think the burden it will put on the town will be tremendous."

Botaish said the Connecticut town in which the Mohegan Sun casino is based saw a substantial increase in crime since the casino's construction.

"In terms of the jobs it will create, there are no casino managers living in Wrentham or Foxborough," he said.

Selectman Stephen Langley agreed.

"I think there would be some mitigation, but I cannot see any mitigation that would lead me to believe that a casino is in the better interests of the town of Wrentham," he said. "We have a lot of residents who live on Route 1, and they see an impact from the stadium 10 times a year... If this comes close to the traffic patterns the stadium has now, it would be a problem."

Selectman Michael Carroll said he was not in favor of the project, but the town should begin making preparations for a casino nonetheless.

"The statute passed does not give surrounding towns any authority — only Foxborough," he said. "I think our best course would be to get together with our counterparts in surrounding towns and come up with a common strategy, instead of divide and conquer, where we're out in the cold."

Board member Robert Leclair, though, said he would need additional information before voting.

"I'm not going to express an opinion for or against this, because I haven't heard all the details," he said. "I like to hear from everybody."

State Rep. Daniel Winslow was present for the meeting, and said he had been listening to constituents about the project.

"I've heard from hundreds of residents of Wrentham, and they're probably 80 to 20 against," he said. "A casino would not change the character of Boston, but it would fundamentally change the character of Foxborough and the surrounding towns."

Winslow also decried what he called a series of deceitful actions that led to the project proposal.

"They tried to sneak through a zoning change in the summer, with no talk of a casino," he said. "They were talking about funding commuter rail expansion to the site."

Police Chief James Anderson also spoke against a casino, saying the project could bring additional crime to the town.

The board voted 4-0 against the casino, with Leclair abstaining.

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