After nearly two years of tightly choreographed public meetings, hearings and comment gathering, the three Aquidneck Island communities reached a Thursday on how to best use roughly 175 acres of west side land parcels surplussed by the Navy. The final vote green lights the package of five proposals to be submitted to the United States Department of Defense by Aug. 19 for final federal approvals.
Perhaps no one was more relieved to see how smoothly talks and planning went upon last week's vote than Julie Oakley, the Aquidneck Island Reuse Planning Authority (AIRPA) Communities Planning Coordinator. Oakley worked with each of the three communities both individually and collectively to come up with the five separate plans. Oakley also serves as Aquidneck Island's official liaison to the United States Navy and United States Department of Defense (DOD).
Aquidneck Island Planning Commission (AIPC) Chairman Richard Adams, who also serves on the Middletown Planning Board, was equally thrilled by the approved plans that have materialized, which will provide economic development opportunities for each of the three communities, as well as an opportunity to improve island-wide transportation through the improvements to Defense Highway.
See their reactions in the attached video and find out what last week's AIRPA vote will mean for each of the Aquidneck Island communities.