PLAINVILLE — Two neighboring communities will be getting sizeable grants for public safety upgrades, state gaming authorities have decided.
North Attleboro will receive $100,000 to study the impact Plainridge Park Casino has had on traffic on Kelley Boulevard and Mansfield will get $45,000 to train its police department on the concepts of “inclusion, diversity and sensitivity.”
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved the funding at its Thursday meeting. The grants come from the commission’s Community Mitigation Fund.
In its request for funding, North Attleboro pointed out that Kelley Boulevard (Route 152) is a major corridor through the town for about two miles. It runs from Attleboro in the south to Plainville in the north, where it intersects with Route 1, just south of the entrance to Plainridge.
Plainridge’s own traffic monitoring program conducted a baseline study just before the opening of the casino and did follow-up studies annually for four years. The first study, conducted after the opening of Plainridge in 2015, showed traffic on the average weekday on Route 152 increased from 19,560 to 22,410 vehicles per day.
North Attleboro says it will be conducting a traffic survey as part of the town’s master plan update and will hire an outside firm to do it.
In recommending the grant for Mansfield, the Gaming Commission’s ombudsman said “given Mansfield’s proximity to (Plainridge), it is reasonable to conclude that the Mansfield Police Department would likely come in contact with either patrons or employees of (the casino) in their regular duties. In addition, the 2021 Community Mitigation Fund Guidelines specifically identified public safety training as an eligible cost.”
Since 2015, the MGC has issued about $28 million in funding to advance needs in transportation, community planning, workforce development and public safety for municipalities and government entities in the vicinity of the casinos. Both Mansfield and North Attleboro have “surrounding community agreements” with Plainridge, designating them as likely to be impacted by the casino.
Earlier this year, Plainville received $95,000 to purchase a transport van along with an informational data collection signboard and trailer to ransport traffic control equipment.
Foxboro was granted $81,000 for personnel training and equipment.