Marshfield: Special town meeting approves airport project and increased affordable housing

Marshfield successfully wrapped up their special town meeting in one night.

With tight personal budgets and a possible costly school building project, Marshfield residents were reluctant Monday night to approve funding for another project. On the warrant for the special town meeting was Article 12 which asked to borrow $200,000 to help fund an airport safety Improvement project at George Harlow Field.

The airport commission has been working with the Federal Aviation Administration and is eligible to receive 97.5% in grant funding for the total multi-million dollar project budget. The FAA may also help contribute $400,000 towards the dredging of Bass Creek, an adjacent wetland to the airport.

However, the town seemed divided on how to handle this issue. One resident who was in favor of the article stated that the pros out way the cons, “I’m just thinking of some of the emergencies the airport has assisted us most recently: the tragic murder in town, the tragedy of the boater this summer. The airport is very vital resource for this community as far as public safety.”

Whereas some Marshfield residents, like Bob Parkis, were not in support, “If I were you sitting on the floor of town meeting I would say no to this until they renegotiate this contract.”

The article needed a two-thirds vote to pass and was approved in a standing vote with 70% of residents in support of the  project.

Marshfield also voted to use approximately $152,000 from the Community Preservation Fund to increase available affordable housing in town. Eligible residents will receive a grant at the time of purchase that reduces the size of their mortgage.

Housing Coordinator John Mather explained that eight homes have been allocated so far that will be used as affordable housing, “Grant amounts are up to $45,000 for one bedroom, $60,000 for two bedrooms, $80,000 for three, four, or five bedroom units. Or 35% of the sale price, whichever is the less amount.”

Mather stated that the Housing Authority uses a lottery system to select applicants. He also guaranteed that seven out of ten residents chosen will be Marshfield residents.

About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.