FOR RELEASE: Embargoed, Please, Until Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For additional information, please contact Tony Cignoli at (413) 896-9675. For additional comment, please directly contact: Atty. Marty Dunn at: 413.563.2308, or Tony Ravosa at: 860.918.422

Paper City LLC, Announces: Holyoke Now! ; A Partnership for Regional Progress.
Under voluntary plan, Holyoke casino could generate more than $10 million annually for the city and neighboring communities. Financial commitment would be in addition to any increases in state aid from expanded gaming
HOLYOKE -- Paper City Development Company, LLC, the firm that has proposed development of a resort casino at Wyckoff Country Club in Holyoke, today announced the details of a voluntary, regional revenue sharing plan to include Holyoke and several neighboring cities and towns. Under Paper City¶s ³Holyoke Now!´; A Partnership for Regional Progress Plan, Holyoke would receive 1.25% of the net gaming revenues to be generated annually at a Holyoke casino. The neighboring, adjacent communities to Holyoke, would share in a pool of an additional 1.25% under a distribution formula determined by population size (largest to smallest). The surrounding communities eligible to participate are; Chicopee, Westfield, Northampton, West Springfield, Easthampton, Southampton, South Hadley and Hadley. These communities either immediately border, or are historically contiguous with the city of Holyoke. When combined with Holyoke, these communities collectively represent a population base of nearly 240,000 residents. Given its ³host community´ status, Holyoke would be the largest recipient of funds under Paper City¶s plan receiving a projected annual allotment of $5 million-plus. Of the surrounding communities participating in the shared pool, the city of Chicopee would receive the largest portion of these funds by virtue of its status as having the largest neighboring population. Under this formula, Paper City officials estimate that Chicopee would be in line to receive upwards of $1.4 million, followed by Westfield ($1.05 million), Northampton ($716,000) and West Springfield ($707,000). South Hadley

($434,000), Easthampton ($408,000), Southampton ($149,000) and Hadley ($118,000) round out the list of eligible recipients. Paper City is basing its projections on its own internal study of potential regional gaming demand. Paper City¶s revenue commitment would be in addition to any annual increases in state aid (or ³Cherry Sheet´ revenues) that would be received by Holyoke and surrounding communities through state taxes (25%) on gross gaming revenues. The Massachusetts Coalition for Jobs and Growth -- a statewide association of mayors, developers and labor groups who support the construction of gaming, entertainment and destination venues -- estimates an additional $100 million annually in state aid to be disbursed among the Commonwealth¶s 351 cities and towns with approval of expanded gaming (see the below breakdown on how Holyoke and its surrounding communities might fare). The total 2.5% of net gaming revenues offered up annually under Paper City¶s plan plays on the Proposition 2½ ballot initiative approved by Massachusetts voters in 1982. Fed up with rapidly escalating municipal budgets that led to unsustainable increases in local property taxes, Massachusetts residents engaged in a taxpayer¶s revolt at the ballot box that year by formally adopting the measure to limit to 2.5% the maximum amount that municipalities are permitted to increase their annual tax levy. While that momentous event occurred nearly thirty years ago, its relevance today remains unquestionable. In the ensuing years -- particularly in challenging fiscal times like these -- local officials have been forced to make some very difficult decisions in order to maintain even basic municipal services. While Proposition 2½ placed hard limitations on the ability of cities and towns to excessively raise taxes on its citizens, Paper City¶s ³Holyoke NOW!´ Partnership for Regional Progress Plan, in contrast, provides a creative, new and sustainable discretionary revenue source for Holyoke and neighboring communities to preserve budget austerity with ³no strings attached.´ The revenues generated through this plan will undoubtedly go a long way in aiding municipal leaders in the delivery of local services, enhancing public safety, and enriching the overall quality of life in each of these communities, while also reducing their need to seek future ³Prop 2½´ overrides. Some communities may even consider use of these funds in tax stabilization or tax relief efforts, intent on reducing the tax burden on their residents. Paper City credits State Senator Stephen M. Brewer, Chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, for providing the impetus for this proposal. According to Paper City Managing Partner Joseph Lashinger, ³Senator Brewer has been very clear in expressing his concerns about the potential impact of casino operations on surrounding communities. He has been unrelenting in his efforts to insure that neighboring cities and towns - adjacent to where casinos are proposed are not forgotten in the siting process and that their municipal needs are considered as well.´

³Paper City shares Senator Brewer¶s broader regional view when it comes to community reinvestment and the financial benefits to be realized for communities, should expanded gaming be approved in the Commonwealth. We recognize the fiscal challenges and budgetary dilemmas that these communities face, particularly in trying economic times like these. That¶s why we¶ve elected to put our best foot forward now in offering this plan.´ Said Lashinger. Paper City Principal, Anthony W. Ravosa, Jr. said, ³President John F. Kennedy said: 'A rising tide lifts all boats¶ in advocating for steps to be taken to improve the country¶s general economic condition in 1963. By advancing this proposal, we are firmly committing ourselves to that same philosophy in promoting a project that we believe will be the primary catalyst for Holyoke¶s economic resurgence. But Holyoke will not be the only beneficiary. We are also giving proper recognition on those communities neighboring Holyoke as important and valued partners in the success we hope to achieve by developing a resort casino at Wyckoff.´ Ravosa continued; ³The immediate job creation and sizable economic benefits of this project will reverberate throughout the entire Pioneer Valley region for years to come.´ Lashinger added, ³Regardless of any potential legislative dictate that may predetermine a specific amount that casino developers must direct to both host and surrounding communities, Paper City stands prepared to go above and beyond, following through on our promised financial commitment to these communities by entering into formal agreements with each of them.´ Lashinger further emphasized, ³We want to truly partner with our host community, Holyoke, and its neighboring cities and towns. In doing so, it¶s important to remember that there is absolutely no cap on the amount of money that our plan might yield. There is shared success as revenues grow. That¶s the most concrete way we know of making these communities a genuine economic partner in a resort casino built in Holyoke.´ Paper City envisions a process where legislative bodies in each community; City Councils, Selectmen, or Town Meeting members, would vote to accept or reject these funds. Should any community ultimately reject funding available through Paper City¶s ´Holyoke Now!´ Plan, funds earmarked for that community would then be disbursed among the others under the same formula. Population figures determining disbursement amounts from the shared pool going to communities neighboring Holyoke would be re-evaluated every 10 years concurrent with the completion of the national census. ###

*Projected ³Cherry Sheet´ / local aid revenue increases for Holyoke and surrounding communities with expanded gaming
Holyoke Chicopee Westfield Northampton West Spfld. S. Hadley Easthampton Southampton Hadley $1,286,953 $1,404,885 $ 837,956 $ 523,234 $ 477,055 $ 345,479 $ 362,489 $ $ 84,814 45,615

(*Based on 25% tax of gross gaming revenue to the Commonwealth and $100 million dedicated annually from that resulting revenue stream specifically to increasing local aid; Source: Massachusetts Coalition for Jobs and Growth)

Again, these figures are in addition to funds that would be earmarked to Holyoke and surrounding communities under Paper City¶s ´Holyoke NOW!´ Partnership for Regional Progress Plan.

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