In front of the hospital’s administration building, Preston First Selectman Bob Congdon, Kevin Brown “Red Eagle” the Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, and Preston’s Redevelopment Agency Chairman Sean Nugent signed a development agreement.
The tribe can now move forward with its plans to realize the potential of the Preston property. A $600-million non-gaming entertainment venue which brings the tribe back to the east side of the Thames River.
Mohegan Sun Casino rises from the tribe’s reservation across the Thames. Chairman Brown says this venture repeats the efforts of Uncas 400 years ago when he shared the land.
“By granting land to Jonathan Brewster so he could establish a trading post, he caused the integration of this community of southeastern Connecticut,” said Chairman Brown. “It’s our obligation as a tribe to continue along that path.”
That path was cleared by Preston residents who voted overwhelmingly 813 to 137 to approve the agreement and the use of state grant money to finish cleaning up the polluted property.
“To date, for instance, we’ve contributed more than 190-million dollars to more than 150 projects across the state on brownfield remediation,” said Governor Dannel Malloy.
The project which will include a year of cleanup and five years of construction is expected to create as few as 200 and as many as 750 to a thousand jobs. It will also more than double Preston’s tax base.
“I’m a pretty happy guy right now and I think they will do it right,” said Congdon. “I think it will be a boon for the economy of southeastern Connecticut.”
Chairman Brown says potential developers were already on the property Wednesday touring the grounds.