Somerville Moves To Delay Everett Casino Project

Mayor Joe Curtatone has concerns about the project's environmental permits.

Planned Wynn casino in Everett. Rendering by Wynn.

Planned Wynn casino in Everett. Rendering by Wynn.

Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone is defending his city’s decision to challenge the $1.7 billion Wynn Resorts casino in Everett on environmental grounds because the gaming giant has never talked with the city.

During an interview on Boston Herald Radio, the mayor blasted Wynn Resorts for not reaching out to him about his concerns about the project.

“For the past two years, Steve Wynn and his representatives have had every opportunity to sit down, to work with us, to address our concerns about the impact his casino will have on our health and our environment and they haven’t even called to talk about that,” said Curtatone.

Curtatone, a longtime opponent of casino gambling in Massachusetts, formally appealed the Chapter 91 license issued to Wynn for the project because of air quality and traffic in the Sullivan Square area. Somerville is one of several communities surrounding the planned casino that attempted to stop it last fall with lawsuits in Suffolk Civil Court. Somerville’s appeal could delay the construction of the casino by up to a year.

Wynn officials criticized Curtatone as making these moves to elevate his political standing in the state. Curtatone has been floated in some Democratic circles as a potential statewide candidate in 2018, possibly against Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

“Five state agencies have reviewed our permits over the course of nearly three years, among the results of which is a solid working group to resolve the major traffic issue, which is Sullivan Square,” said Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver.

Wynn recently cleared the biggest obstacle to its Everett casino ambitions when it struck a deal with Boston to end any further legal action against the project.