Weymouth: residents voice concerns on southfield development

Weymouth Mayor Susan Kay is working to provide answers to all resident questions and concerns about Starwood’s proposed legislation for the Southfield development.

Mayor Kay held a public meeting Tuesday night at the Abigail Adams Intermediate School on Starwood’s proposed legislation.  She felt it was successful.

“We got a good crowd out,” Mayor Kay said, “A lot of residents from Southfield to be able to express their feelings on the whole issue, and we have people who have been residents for many years who expressed concerns.”

Residents’ concerns included issues with the recreation piece of the legislation, the potential water solution, water and tax rates, and Tri-Town’s governance.

Steve Riley, a Weymouth resident,  raised questions on whether or not it still “makes sense” to build the recreation facility from the Resuse Plan, especially now that there is a brand new similar facility in Hanover.

Matthew Barry, Starwood Vice President, said they have offered to the Town Council to put the recreation facility directly from the Resuse Plan in the legislation. “We’re open to re-visit the number…of individual sports fields to make sure they satisfy the town’s requirements and will be useful to the towns for years to come…starting with what’s in the Resuse Plan for a base.”

Barry also spoke to comments several residents made about Starwood and the Tri-Town Board of Directors seeming to be “divorced.”

“We think that the enabling legislation and the performance of the Tri-Town staff is broken,” Barry said, “We think [the proposed legislation] is saving Tri-Town…changing their obligations to their core responsibilities and allowing them to succeed, for us to succeed, and for the ultimate benefits to the town of Weymouth and all three towns to occur.”

Barry added that he has several meetings with members of the Board within the next week.

Weymouth residents also raised many questions and concerns on the recent proposal Mayor  Kay has made that Weymouth could be the water provider for Southfield.

“I was glad to get some input on the proposal for water,” Mayor Kay said, “If we are able to do it,  we want to make sure that it’s going to be good for the town.”

Some questions focused around the accuracy of the numbers and data Mayor Kay provided in a packet of supporting information for the proposal.

“I stand by the numbers that are in the report and the ten-year study that was developed,” Mayor Kay said,” I believe Weymouth can provide water.”

According to the provided information, Weymouth currently uses about 4.1 million gallons per day of the permitted withdrawal limit of 5 million, leaving an estimated excess of 900,000 gallons per day.

“The 1.2 million gallons per day that was originally thought was needed is nowhere near what is needed now,” Mayor Kay said, “We can actually calculate how much water is being used currently with the percentage of residents that are on the base, and we find that we would have plenty of water to supply.”

Mayor Kay said there is no agreement in place for Weymouth to provide the water to Southfield. “All it is is a proposal at this point,” she said.

Mayor Kay added that she would be “remiss as a leader” if she did not at least look at this as a solution to potentially keep Weymouth water rates down.

Mayor Kay says she is glad to have feedback on this issue and she assures that they would not move forward with anything that would put the town in jeopardy. “It’s going to be causing a lot of conversation, if nothing else,” she said.

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About Samantha Tracey

Samantha Tracey graduated from Salem State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. She has been reporting on local issues in a variety of towns: Bridgewater, Abington, Carver, Weymouth, East Bridgewater, Hanson, Halifax, etc. She says growing up on the South Shore has made it interesting now to be covering news in such familiar places.