Section 61. (a) There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Community Mitigation Fund. The fund shall consist of monies transferred under section 59 and all other monies credited or transferred to the fund from any other fund or source.
(b) The commission shall administer the fund and, without further appropriation, shall expend monies in the fund to assist the host community and surrounding communities in offsetting costs related to the construction and operation of a gaming establishment including, but not limited to, communities and water and sewer districts in the vicinity of a gaming establishment, local and regional education, transportation, infrastructure, housing, environmental issues and public safety, including the office of the county district attorney, police, fire and emergency services. The commission may, at its discretion, distribute funds to a governmental entity or district other than a single municipality in order to implement a mitigation measure that affects more than 1 municipality; provided, however, that such entity or district shall submit a written request for funding in the same manner as a municipality would be required to submit such a request under subsection (c).
(c) Parties requesting appropriations from the fund shall submit a written request for funding to the commission before February 1 of each year. The commission may hold a public hearing in the region of a gaming establishment to provide parties with the opportunity to provide further information about their request for funds and shall distribute funds to requesting parties based on demonstrated need.