Grievances Were Aired at a Meeting about the Helipad
Predictably, it looks like officials got an earful last night on the idea of bringing a public helipad, a gift used to lure General Electric, to the Seaport.
Complaints came from Legal Sea Foods and the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, who are worried about the impact of noise on their customers, as well as people who live in the area and aren’t thrilled about the idea of choppers noisily landing in their neighborhood. The state is leaning toward building the helipad off a dock at the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park, not far from the restaurant and concert venue. They announced that they were focusing on the Seaport in November.
Mayor Marty Walsh supports the helipad construction plan, which is part of the incentive package he and Gov. Charlie Baker helped negotiate with GE. Tito Jackson, the city councilor who is running for mayor, has frequently used the helipad a symbol of what he believes are misplaced priorities in the city. He reiterated that stance on Monday, according to the Herald. “If they want a helipad, they can build their own helipad,” he said, referring to GE. “Not with our money and not on our watch.”
The complaints from neighbors also included this gem from Southie’s Laura McDonagh, about the pad at Logan Airport: “It’s a 5-minute ride through that damn tunnel and if we can use it, GE can use it.”
Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack now believes the helipad will cost between $2 million and $12 million.
The Herald has also chronicled some of the outrage in Southie about the plan, as a task force made up of a group of city and state officials works to identify where to put the thing. While there is a helipad choppers can use at Logan Airport, and there are several private ones around the city, but Boston hasn’t had a public helipad downtown in some time. A similar proposal to bring one here died in 2008.
Want to weigh in? Another meeting is scheduled for February 6 in Room 428 at the State House. The state is accepting comments from the public until February 17, including via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.