State: Audit report says timely completion of SouthField is at ‘high risk’

The former South Weymouth Naval Air Station is being transformed into SouthField, a project that includes the development of commercial space and about 2,800 housing units but completion of the project is at ‘high risk’, according to a report by the Office of State Auditor Suzanne Bump.

The report says the Board of Directors for South Shore Tri-Town Development Corporation, who oversees SouthField, has failed to develop a financial plan to raise $158 million needed to complete a major roadway called ‘East-West Parkway’ and to develop water and sewage systems.

But Jeffrey Wall, who represents the Town of Weymouth on the board, notes that the audit report only covers 2008 through 2011, “Since then is what we need to take a look at now…we’re in the process of securing another water supply and we’re in the process of trying to find funding for the remaining part of the parkway and that part of the infrastructure, as we move forward. But it’s all based on priority and what we’re trying to do here is we’re still trying to get this development up and running—there’s over 600 people that live out there right now.”

Wall said most of the problems addressed in the report have already been corrected and explained that SouthField is already generating revenue for its three host communities, “Weymouth has received $6.7 million from this project already, Rockland has received $2.2 million, Abington has received a little over $600,000 during that same time period. So we’re looking out for the community, absolutely.”

Wall says they’re a work in progress but believes the Board of Directors has been successful in negotiating a land deal with the Navy and drastically reducing their budget for legal services.

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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.