Warwick council, mayor at odds over Green Airport runway appeal
The Warwick City Council and Mayor Scott Avedisian are at odds over one last legal challenge to the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to lengthen the runway at T.F. Green State Airport.
The council has prepared a resolution that would allocate about $65,000 to hire a California law firm, Tabor Law Group of Irvine, Calif., to file an appeal of the decision to allow construction of the runway extension.
The runway extension was under hearings for almost 13 years before final approval in September. The council wants to ensure that the jets will not emitting air pollution that might have an adverse health impact on people who live near the airport, said Councilman Joseph Solomon.
Solomon said the intent is not to delay the runway project, which state officials have long said is needed for economic development and to help Rhode Island’s transportation infrastructure.
“No one on the council disagrees with the fact that the airport is an economic locomotive fore both the state and also the city of Warwick,’’ said Solomon.
But Avedisian says enough is enough. The runway extension is not just an economic engine, the mayor said. The extension is also needed for safety reasons, he said.
Avedisian also said the city’s lawyers have advised that the city does not have sufficient legal standing to challenge the FAA decision and is likely to lose any appeal.
“We are not likely to prevail,’’ said Avedisian.
Avedisian also said he is upset that the council met in executive session to discuss hiring the California firm. “There doesn’t appear to have been a transparent public process or…any request for proposals.’’