Marshfield: Officials close earth removal permit public hearing for soccer fields

The Marshfield board of selectmen wrapped up Peter Armstrong’s contentious earth removal permit hearing at the Furnace Brook Middle School Wednesday night.

The permit, if granted, would clear the way for the construction of two youth soccer fields at Ferry and Grove Streets.

Proponents say it’s a good deal and the town needs the fields. But neighbors opposed to the project worry about enduring traffic, noise and dust from trucks hauling sand and gravel from the site, which could continue for three or four years.

Selectman Matt McDonough says the board will now deliberate and weigh the pros and cons of the proposal.

“It’s balancing the issues of the quality of life in the neighborhood against the prospects of closing what even Mr. Armstrong has admitted is an old excavation area. He offers a plan that has an end use with soccer fields. But, there are a lot of contentious issues with regards to aquifer protection, traffic, dust mitigation and noise. Those are the issues Mr. Hall and I will take into consideration while we deliberate,” said McDonough.

Selectman John Hall says, so far, this is the most difficult decision he’s had to make as a public official.

Hall said, “This is the most important decision I’ve had to make in six years of public service. There have been a lot of difficult decisions, but this one certainly tops the list as far as I’m concerned.”

Since Patricia Reilly is no longer on the board, John Hall and Matt McDonough will be the only selectmen to vote on issue. They plan to reconvene for a vote within the next 30 days.

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About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.