Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Taunton Municipal Airport (KTAN) commission meetings moved to City Hall amid discord

Meetings of the city’s Airport Commission will now be televised and held at the interim City Hall at 141 Oak Street.

In this file photo, Airport Commissioner William Maganiello, left, talks with members of the Taunton Pilots Association, with President Melinda Paine-Dupont at right.

TAUNTON — Meetings of the city’s Airport Commission will now be televised and held at the interim City Hall at 141 Oak St.

The commission’s next meeting is set for 7 p.m., Jan. 27, continuing its regular meeting schedule on the last Wednesday of the month.

The board typically met inside the Leonard F. Rose SRE building at the East Taunton-based airport on Westcoat Drive. The building is a large structure that doubles as an airport property maintenance garage and a meeting room whose walls and ceilings display airport memorabilia.

City Councilor Estele C. Borges, chairman of the Committee on the Needs of the Airport, announced the change of location at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Moving the airport commission’s location to a site where meetings can be televised brings greater transparency to the monthly board meeting — and a more comfortable location for commission members and the public, including area pilots. The working relationship between some members of the seven-person airport commission, airport management and area pilots has become fractious.

A Jan. 25 meeting is set for the entire City Council to hear the concerns of the pilots, who last month submitted a petition of no confidence in how the airport is being run. Eighty people signed the petition.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics division has selected the Taunton Municipal Airport as one local airport slated for a new building. The project is in its earliest stages, with state officials recently notifying the airport commission and airport management of the award.

Money for the new building comes via a statewide Airport Administration Building program. Construction of the new building at the airport may begin in fiscal year 2017, according to airport commission minutes posted on the city’s website. That’s because although the project is planned, groundbreaking is subject to approval of the annual MassDOT capital budget.


No comments: