NEW BEDFORD – A week after state Sen. Mark Montigny said the head of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center told him the new port facility would be renamed the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, it’s been nothing but radio silence from the CEC.
Montigny, D-New Bedford, told The Standard-Times last week that MassCEC head Alicia Barton had called him on Sept. 23 to say her agency would drop its effort to name the facility the Massachusetts or SouthCoast Marine Commerce Terminal.
But one week later, MassCEC has yet to confirm the news. Asked four times in the past week whether there had been an update on the terminal’s name, MassCEC Spokeswoman Catherine Williams responded four times: “I decline to comment.”
MassCEC initially tried to change the terminal name from New Bedford to Massachusetts on Sept. 12, when it slipped the new name into a press release and changed its website for the terminal to reflect the new moniker.
The change sparked a visceral reaction among New Bedford residents and leaders, who hope to use the terminal as a way to brand New Bedford as the offshore wind hub of the United States and attract more industry business here.
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, MassCEC had not changed its project website to reflect the change back to the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal.
Montigny said Tuesday that he had not heard from MassCEC or Barton since last Tuesday but that, “I don’t have any doubt that it’s a done deal.”
“I am very confident that when the director says to me ‘We get the message’ that they get the message,” he said. “That being said, they should be answering peoples’ questions.”
Elizabeth Treadup Pio, spokesperson for Mayor Jon Mitchell, said Mitchell has not yet heard directly from MassCEC about the naming of the terminal.
New Bedford Wind Energy Center Director Matthew Morrissey said he hadn’t heard anything or received official confirmation from MassCEC about the name.
Asked what he thought the lack of communication meant, he said only that he “couldn’t possibly speculate.”
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