Saturday, June 28, 2014

As Marshfield Municipal Airport (KGHG) expands, couple agree to sell their home

MARSHFIELD – With barbed-wire fencing and a taxiway buffer creeping toward their backyard, a Woodbine Road family said the $15.34 million improvement project at Marshfield Municipal Airport left them with little choice but to sell their home.

Thomas and Pamela Scott this month agreed to sell their home at 23 Woodbine Road to the airport commission for $315,000, most of which was funded with federal money.

The home is one of three properties at the end of Woodbine Road and Old Colony Lane that were identified in 2005 for possible acquisition. It’s the second to be purchased for the expansion project.

The Federal Aviation Administration provided an $11.34 million grant for improvements to the town-owned airport, which is managed by Shoreline Aviation. The state pitched in $1.4 million, and voters at a special town meeting in 2011 approved $200,000.

The newly reopened runway was shifted 190 feet west of the previous surface, widened by 25 feet and extended 300 feet. An additional 300 feet of paved safety buffer was added at each end, providing 3,600 feet for takeoffs and 3,900 feet for emergency landings.

Airport manager David Dinneen acknowledged that the fence enclosing the airport and taxiway protection zone are “very close” to the Scott home, which will be demolished.

“We went through the process and offered to purchase the home, and they accepted,” he said. “We struck a good deal with them. They’re happy with the decision, and we’re happy to be able to use the property to create a buffer.”

While Thomas Scott said he’s glad his family received fair market value for the home, he’s disappointed that officials put them in that position to begin with.

“We’re leaving under duress. We’ve been told by medical professionals that the dangers and the risks outweigh the attempt to tolerate or adjust to the situation,” he said Thursday. “You can’t argue with noise levels that exceed federal guidelines and toxic fumes 50 feet away. … And to think airport commissioners, who are my own neighbors, denied that there would be a problem.”

Airport officials have said the project is necessary because improvements will bring the airport into compliance with FAA safety and design standards.

The zoning board in 2011 granted a special permit for relocating and widening the runway. Town Counsel Robert Galvin said part of the airport property already existed in a residential zone prior to the expansion.

 “All they did was change the nature of use, and that was through a special permit,” he said. “There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that there has been no further incursion than what (the board) approved.”

Galvin said no neighbors appealed the board’s approval of the permit at the time. “They should have taken issue with it in 2011,” he said. “They had a legal obligation to do that.”

Scott said none of the plans as presented included the adverse details his family is experiencing.

I'm not anti-transportation and I’m certainly not anti-business, but some serious negligence existed here,” he said. “Perhaps the consultants involved presented the decision-makers with a very different description of what would happen compared to what has happened.”

Scott did credit Dinneen for his handling of the situation, calling him a “professional who took a different approach” from other airport officials.

“He was proactive and made it possible for us to exercise our option to relocate,” Scott said. “If it weren’t for him, I don’t think we would have had any options other than to file for injunction.”

Story and photo:

No comments:

Post a Comment