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As Hardwick, Massachusetts, prepares to vote on racetrack, some residents work to defeat it

A sign in Hardwick, Massachusetts, expressing opposition to a proposed racetrack.
Robert Page
Submitted photo
A sign in Hardwick, Massachusetts, expressing opposition to a proposed racetrack.

Residents of Hardwick, Massachusetts, will vote on Saturday on whether they want a new horse racing track in town.

Hardwick is a town of less than 3,000 people, about 20 miles west of Worcester. A developer and a horse breeder want to build a racetrack there.

Some residents are opposed to the project, saying the town is ill prepared to handle the thousands of visitors expected on weekends.

Robert Page is part of a group fighting for a no vote on Jan. 7.

"Our group has assigned every street in Hardwick," he said. "We have 75 to 100 people that are going to go out and knock on doors and help people understand because a lot of people don't know the correct information."

Page said among the things people may not know is that Commonwealth Racing, the organization trying to build the track, also wants to offer sports betting in town, which could bring even more people into Hardwick.

Commonwealth Racing could not be reached for comment.

If the town votes yes on the race track, Massachusetts gambling regulators would still need to sign off on the project.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.

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