Fall River Mayor Looks To Accomodate Casino, Bio-Tech Park

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Fall River's mayor is looking to build both a casino and a bio-technology park in or near his city.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth was planning to build a bio-tech research facility in Fall River, but has been considering other sites since Fall River and the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe announced they hope to build a casino on the proposed land instead.

The city's mayor, William Flanagan, says he can site both facilities.

"If we can locate the casino on the 300-acre parcel here in Fall River and a bio-tech facility on 300 acres in Freetown, that's the best of both worlds for the people of this region," Flanagan said.

Flanagan stressed the need for new developments to ease an area hart-hit by job losses.

"If the people up on Beacon Hill are toting this as an opportunity to create jobs, the people of Fall River need jobs more than anybody else right now," Flanagan said. "We have the highest unemployment rate in the commonwealth and we need to do everything we can to get people back to work in this region."

House Speaker Robert DeLeo says if his proposed gambling legislation — which is awaiting movement by the Senate — becomes law, an independent commission will conduct market analysis and decide where casinos should be located.

But DeLeo says right now Fall River needs to decide what to do with the original 300-acre plot first.

"Because I think that if you go to an argument split, then that's probably not going to help your proposal if you're trying to move forward," DeLeo said.

This program aired on May 21, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.