PLAINVILLE — Local officials lavished praise on the state’s sole remaining horse racing venue earlier this week at a virtual public hearing for next year’s license for Plainridge Park Racecourse.
Brian Kelly, chairman of the board of selectmen, told the online hearing that Plainridge “had put our town on the map.”
And both Police Chief James Alfred and Acting Fire Chief Richard Ball said the track had been a good partner in public safety.
Dan Bergevine, a local resident, said the track “has been a tremendous asset to our town.”
While best known as the site of the state’s first legal gaming revenue and currently its only slots parlor, Plainridge’s harness track, now in its 23rd season is currently the state’s only location to offer live horse racing of any kind.
The track’s season, which was shortened last year by the pandemic, usually begins in mid-April and will end this year on Nov. 26.
Bergevine pointed out that Penn National Gaming would not have taken over Plainridge and started its casino operation if it had not been for the track. “We wouldn’t have the town hall or the fire station,” paid for with the town’s share of casino revenues, if it hadn’t been for the track, he said.
No one spoke in opposition to the license for next year’s racing dates during Monday’s virtual hearing.
The commission will release a written decision on the license “in the not to distant future,” a commission spokesperson said.