Maturo makes it clear the town is prepared to take any an all action necessary to ensure the area of paved runway is not expanded. He says in his letter than any movement to expand the runway could adversely affect East Haven residents' quality of life.
Here is Mayor Maturo's full letter:
Mayor Toni Harp
165 Church Street
New Haven, CT 06510
Tweed New Haven Airport Authority
155 Burr Street
East Haven, CT 06512
Re: Failed Proposed House Bill 139 - Paving of the runway safety areas at Tweed Airport
Dear Mayor Harp and Airport Authority Members:
Kindly take this letter as a follow-up to this year's state legislative session and to the introduction during that session of legislation which proposed allocating funding for the paving of the runway safety areas at Tweed Airport.
As you are likely aware, on March 16, 2009, the Town of East Haven, the City of New Haven, and the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority entered into a memorandum of agreement regarding Tweed New Haven Airport which concluded years of both State and Federal litigation amongst the parties (hereafter, the "Joint Agreement."
The first substantive provision of the Joint Agreement pertains to Runway 2-20 and provides that "[t]he Town and City agree Runway 2-20 shall be limited to the existing paved runway length of 5,600 linear feet.' Additionally, the Joint Agreement increased East Haven's representation on Tweed's board of directors from two to five members. The Joint Agreement also provided that the parties would work with legislators to have various terms of the Joint Agreement enacted as part of an amendment to the State statute that governs and addresses Tweed New Haven Airport (Title 15, Chapter 267a of the Connecticut-General Statutes). As a result, C.G.S. Sec. 15-120j(c) presently provides that "Runway 2-2A of the airport shall not exceed the existing paved runway length of five thousand six hundred linear feet."
However, on February 18,2014, a group of seven legislators introduced a bill (HB 139) which called for an appropriation of $2 million dollars per year in State funding for Tweed New Haven Airport and also called for the amendment of state statutes to allow bonding for the taking of nearby trees and the paving of existing runway safety zones. That bill was transferred to the Legislature's Joint Committee on Transportation on February 27, 2014 and became known as bill number 339. Ultimately, the bill was not acted upon during the legislative session. As a
result, it was not passed. Let me begin by saying that I find it disconcerting that there was virtually no collaboration by the authority, legislators, or the City of New Haven with the Town of East Haven regarding the proposed legislation. This legislation would have undoubtedly had a profound impact on the Town of East Haven and it is alarming that our community was not invited to be involved in
discussions regarding this proposed bill. With that said, I wish to make it clear that it is the position of the Town of East Haven that any bill which contemplates or authorizes the paving of the runway safety areas at Tweed Airport is a violation of the Joint Agreement and in conflict with the provisions of C.G.S. $15-120j(c), both of which expressly limit the length of runway 2-20 to 5,600 linear feet.
Specifically, the Town is of the opinion that the runway safety areas are integral parts of the runway - albeit, unpaved parts at the present time. lt is the position of the Town of East Haven that the inclusion of the word "paved" with regard to the length of Runway 2-20 was deliberate and intended to limit the paving of the runway safety areas - which would obviously extend the "paved" length of the runway beyond 5,600 linear feet.
With that said, kindly take this letter as notice that, in the future, the Town of East Haven will pursue any actions necessary to enforce the runway length limitations of the Joint Agreement and C.G.S. 51 5-1 20j(c).
Also, kindly let this letter serve as the Town's formal request to be included in any future discussions regarding the paving of the runway safety areas or expansion of the runway at Tweed Airport.
It is without question that Tweed Airport is a valuable regional resource. The Town does not intend to obstruct the lawful and reasonable operation of the airport. However, at all times, the airport's operations must be balanced with the interests of the residents who live around the airport and who have legitimate quality of life concerns about the airport's future operation.
As a result, the Town believes that any discussions regarding the future of the airport, especially those pertaining to the expansion of Runway 2-20, should be collaborative and should include the Town of East Haven.
I look forward to fruitful discussions about this important resource with you.
Joseph Maturo Jr.
East Haven Mayor