PALMER (CBS) – The town of Palmer has been trying to develop a good sized piece of land for years, and now they’re getting close to announcing a deal. It could mean jobs and tax dollars, but could also bring crowds and cars.
It would be an indoor-outdoor, 4 season water park that would bring in millions of tax dollars and create hundreds of jobs, and the location could draw people from across the region.
It’s a large piece of privately owned land directly off Exit 8 on the Mass Pike. The owner and the town of Palmer have been trying to develop it for years.
“This would be a huge deal,” Linda Leduc, the town’s Economic Development Director, said.
She says the proposed project would take up 100 acres and be what they call a destination resort.
“There would be a hotel, restaurants as well as a, I would say, Disney type resort water park,” she said.
“There’s nothing like this project in all of New England, so we would certainly be drawing clients from as far as New York and Maine,” says Leduc.
The same piece of land was being considered as a casino site several years ago, but Palmer voters narrowly said “no.”
Town leaders hope this family friendly plan will be better received by people who live here, despite the increase in cars and people into the small community.
“You’ve got to grow at some point in time. I understand it’s going to bring in more traffic and things of that nature, but if the town doesn’t grow, what are we going to do?” says Ronald Lamb, a Palmer resident.
They expect to announce a firm proposal in the next several months.
“It would bring an economy to the town. For one thing people would have some jobs. There’s nothing in this town, even for the young people,” Palmer resident Charlotte Iadisernia said.
There’s another large amusement park, Six Flags New England, in Agawam, about 25 miles from the proposed site. The Palmer town planner thinks the water park will be different enough to attract plenty of customers.