Thursday, January 12, 2017

Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport may want to buy your home: City of Westfield receives $2.5-million from the Federal Aviation Administration every year

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport is trying to find the best solutions to help its neighbors impacted by the roar of jets taking off.

Wednesday night, more than 30 residents were looking for information about a federal noise mitigation program, dating back to 2009.

Jane Verbeck of Wyle Acoustical Engineering told 22News, “The program we used changed. So the contours went very low to the south on Sandy Hill Road and now they’ve turned to the left. A lot of these homes are newly included and these homes have dropped out.”

The City of Westfield hired Wyle Acoustical Engineering to create a noise exposure map; 217 homes are affected by airport noise.

Westfield receives $2.5-million from the FAA every year, starting last year. Part of that money will pay for sound insulation, and outright buying of impacted homes. So far, 10 homes have been purchased, and 25 more homes are eligible for purchase.

Not all the homes on Cara Lane are eligible for the program, which has one neighbor concerned. Carol Shannon, who lives on Cara Lane, said the program is leaving neighbors with empty lots; “And it’s very butchering of neighborhoods. There not taking an entire street. They’ll take a house here or a house there. Now what happens to the value of the people who are still living there?”

Shawn Czepiel, who also lives on Cara Lane, said, “Just a lot of questions and not a lot of answers. There hasn’t been a lot of participation I feel with the City Council, and with knowing and actually giving us information.”

Westfield City Councilor Bill Onyski told 22News breaking up neighborhoods is not the best thing for anybody and it takes tax dollars away from the City of Westfield.

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