By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Call it a Christmas gift, just six months early. That’s what it felt like Tuesday evening when officials from MassPort presented the town of Winthrop with a check for $2.5 million for a non-profit foundation.
Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo and Thomas Glynn executive director of MassPort, announced they had been working together to try and find a way to help with the Miller Field project that the town will vote on next Tuesday, June 21.
The payment helps pave the way for improvements to the town’s athletic field. The $2.5 million will be placed into a non-profit charitable trust to support local projects and organizations. The Winthrop Foundation will be comprised of an appointed Board of Trustees that will determine where funding goes.
“This team worked out the details and the town will benefit,” said Town Council President Robert Driscoll Jr. “He is the third highest elected official in state government and he (DeLeo) finds the time to be with us. We owe him a lot of gratitude. This should help influence people when they go to the polls next week.”
DeLeo noted that he has known Glynn for years, and even though they may disagree at times over flights, he thinks there’s no one finer than Glynn. DeLeo also mentioned that he runs one of the largest airports in the country.
DeLeo said his pride in Winthrop is because of the strength of the community. He added that the payment from MassPort shows that residents are treated fairly when it comes to Winthrop’s proximity to Logan Airport.
“This is the type of thing that we should be doing,” Glynn said about MassPort.
Each year MassPort, which operates Logan Airport, which is also partially in Winthrop, makes a $900,000 PILOT payment (payment in lieu of taxes) to the town.
Tuesday evening’s announcement, complete with the A.E. Cummings school band under the direction of Charles Sherwin, a tent, blue and gold balloons and refreshments.
“I look forward to seeing many positive results that will come from the Winthrop Foundation,” DeLeo said. “This field will serve as a place for all in the community to come together.”
Town Manager James McKenna said the town is grateful for DeLeo’s leadership and development.
“We are appreciative of MassPort’s willingness to partner with Winthrop to make our community stronger and healthier,” McKenna said, as school officials, department heads looked on.
“This is exciting news and another plus for the town,” said Town Councilor Russ Sanborn.
“This is a wow!” said Viking Pride Foundation representative Carolyn Gagnon.