$1m Check for Charlestown Still Remains in Escrow at MGC

By Seth Daniel

A little over a year ago, Wynn Everett delivered a $1 million check to the City of Boston for Charlestown non-profits – a stipulation spelled out in the licensing agreement with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC).

However, the City shocked more than a few people when it refused to accept the check.

Since that time, the money has been sitting in an escrow account at the MGC, but that could be changing very soon if the MGC approves the Boston agreement.

“The Commission had required an initial payment of $1 million to the City of Boston in the licensing agreement for Wynn,” said Elaine Driscoll of the MGC. “That money remains in escrow with the Commission at this time. The Commission has not yet had the opportunity to review the details of the agreement but will do so at an upcoming public meeting. At that time, the Commission will determine any necessary next steps on our end which includes how to proceed with the money currently in escrow. The agreement also requires Commission approval.”

A discussion on the agreement is scheduled for today, Feb. 4, at the MGC. The next discussion will likely not be as cordial, as many groups have already predicted a skirmish over who will get to dole out the Wynn money in Charlestown, or if the money will even be turned over to Charlestown.

“Get ready for the bloodbath on that check,” said one source, who spoke anonymously.

According to Tom McKay, Mayor Martin Walsh’s liason to Charlestown who spoke at the Charlestown Neighborhood Council meeting on Tuesday night he said that the check would be distributed by a Boston City Hall agency.  An inquiry to the Mayor’s Office about the check was not answered. Questions included whether the City would turn it over to a neighborhood group to disperse, or whether it would be dispersed through some City agency – perhaps the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA).

The Charlestown Neighborhood Council (CNC) has a community mitigation fund process already in place – which at the moment is getting ready to hand out community funds provided by the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital construction.

In any case, the check is meant for Charlestown non-profits, and many of them have been waiting patiently for more than a year. Just how much longer they’ll have to wait is anyone’s guess.

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