Wednesday night a public hearing was held in Marshfield by the board of selectmen and advisory committee to review the 22=article warrant for the special town meeting on the 24th.
Ann Pollard, manager of the George Harlow Field Airport in Marshfield, presented Article 12 which requests $200,000 to fund a safety improvement project. The town has a grant obligation with the Federal Aviation Administration to maintain standards.
“The runway was paved in 1968; so many, many standards have changed since then and when FAA pays 95% of the bill they say, ‘okay but now you have to bring the airport into compliance’. So the whole force behind this runway safety improvement project is to bring the town’s airport into compliance with current standards,” said Pollard
The project will include widening the runway but also shifting the runway away from Bass Creek, an adjacent wetland territory. The Airport Commission has been working with DPW to find a solution to the flooding issues of Bass Creek. Pollard stated that FAA would potentially help fund the dredging of the wetland as well as the safety project if the article is passed.
In hopes of rebuilding Marshfield Fire Station 1 on Massasoit Avenue, Fire Chief Kevin Robinson proposed an article on the town meeting warrant to increase the town’s meal tax by .75%. Chair of advisory Keith Polansky believes that Marshfield residents and businesses will not agree with the proposed tax increase. Polansky also explained that an increase is meant to produce a revenue stream not fund a specific project.
Chief Robinson has been looking for an answer to the fire station’s poor building conditions for years, “There are other communities that are doing it and they’re just using the word intent. So the intent of this article, even though it’s not in there, is that I’m looking for money to be able to pay the bonding costs so that I can replace the fire station I have asked for every single year since 2004.”
Polansky suggested that Chief Robinson create a separate article for the upcoming spring town meeting to request the $1.5 million needed to build a new station. The board of selectmen agreed with Polansky’s suggestion.