The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) presented a $300,000 check to the City of Chelsea recently as part of the Authority's bi-annual payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) commitment. The presentation was made at a meeting between Massport CEO and Executive Director Thomas J. Kinton, Jr., City Manager Jay Ash and State Representative Gene O'Flaherty. Since 1992 Massport has paid a total of $6.5 million to the City and through 2010 will pay an additional $1.5 million. Typically, municipal services are provided in return for a business's property tax payments. Massport is a governmental agency and does not pay real estate taxes. In the case of Chelsea, Massport voluntarily gives an annual PILOT payment based on its activities related to the operation of the Tobin Memorial Bridge.
"Massport's PILOT is a recognition of the important role that Chelsea plays in our ability to connect customers to their destinations," said Kinton. "Massport and the City have a longstanding partnership that promotes economic development in Chelsea in a manner that benefits the City, its residents, and Massport."
Along with PILOT payments, Massport is expected to award the City of Chelsea $600,000 next month as part of a Cooperative Planning and Development Agreement. The goal of the CPDA is to identify opportunities for airport related businesses to develop in Chelsea, paying taxes and employing local residents. Like any large business, Massport relies on a wide range of goods and services to operate, and in fiscal year 2007 Massport purchased $218,229 in goods and services from businesses located in Chelsea. The Planning and Development Agreement also calls on the City, with the assistance of Massport, to develop and implement a job bank that will provide a listing of existing and future employment opportunities at the airport.
"Massport's been a great neighbor to Chelsea and, equally as important, a significant driver of the economic development activity that is changing the face of this community, for the better. As I continue to focus on expanding the local economic base, as well as plan for the region's future growth and health, it's been rewarding to have such a tremendous economic engine like Massport active and engaged in the discussion. I look forward to the continued opportunities to produce mutually beneficial growth for Chelsea and Massport, as well as the Greater Boston region," said City Manager Jay Ash, who also serves as an officer of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the local regional planning agency serving 101 Greater Boston communities.
"With the presentation of this check, Massport continues to acknowledge the important role Chelsea plays in our regional economy. The additional revenue will be put to good use in meeting local concerns and for that I thank Massport," said State Representative Eugene L. O'Flaherty (D-Chelsea).
Massport also makes annual PILOT payments to the City of Boston and the Town of Winthrop. In fiscal year 2007, Massport's PILOT payment to the City of Boston was $15,232,000; and the Town of Winthrop received a payment of $900,000.
Boston Logan International Airport serves as the gateway to New England. The six-state region has a population of nearly 14 million. Boston Logan offers nonstop service to 79 domestic and 37 international destinations and has more low fare flights than all other New England airports combined. Last year, nearly 28 million passengers flew in or out of Logan.
The Tobin Memorial Bridge, at 2 ¼ miles long is the largest bridge in New England. With three travel lanes northbound on its lower level and three lanes southbound on the upper level, it is the critical link that connects North Shore residents and businesses to the larger economy. Each day 75,000 vehicles travel over the Tobin Bridge