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Edgar County Board mulls giving County Airport to City of Paris –

April 27, 2016   ·   0 Comments

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PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

During the Edgar County Board study session held on April 25, 2016, the board discussed several options they are contemplating with the county airport.

  • develop zoning for the airport
  • annex the airport into the City of Paris
  • give the airport to the City of Paris

Board member Lorenzen contacted IDOT-Division of Aeronautics to figure out what the county needed to do with the airport. They replied that the board needed to work with the State’s Attorney to determine what zoning they wanted to do with the airport. IDOT wants the County to do their part in developing zoning. “Spot Zoning” is one option that would include only zoning for the airport and property within two miles of the airport.

IDOT wants the county to do the zoning – and I suspect it is because they do not want to “own the issue” of they do it for the county.

Heltsley asked bout annexing the airport into the City of Paris – “to make it easy”.

Zuber acted a bit confused, trying to place the blame on this airport issue on other people – we suggest he look at the process and applications used since he has been on the county board – and maybe place the blame on their contracted engineer where it should be placed.

It appeared to us, from watching the video, none of the board members have reviewed or understand the process in instituting zoning in relation to the airport. The process is written in law, and there are certain required steps that must be accomplished. There are requirements for a Zoning Commission to research and investigate the issue and write a proposed county zoning ordinance after holding public hearings. When that process is complete, the county board either accepts or rejects the Zoning Commission recommendation(s). When that is approved, the county must appoint a zoning board to meet and review zoning issues should they arise from time to time.

Zuber also commented that maybe the county is not getting the appropriate return on its investment, and said the City of Paris might be a better option for the airport. Voigt stated the county needed to move forward with figuring out the zoning while they are talking to the city about the possibility of them taking the airport off the county’s hands.

Bruner asked why the county didn’t just spend money on the credit card reader and forget about the new fuel farm. That idea was quickly shot down…because…if they can get the money why not use it?

Here are some new and unique ideas:

  • try being truthful in future grant applications
  • zone the airport – and – zone wind turbines (both can be accomplished without general county-wide zoning)
  • quit doing projects that are not needed
  • treat everyone as equals, in every aspect of the airport
  • when appointing a Zoning Commission, include members who own land within the proposed zoning area
  • hire a permanent airport manager – whether it be the current interim or another person
  • be open and transparent in the main hanger leasing process
  • do the right thing in relation to land that was taken thru imminent domain – and the right thing would be to give that land back to the previous owner while keeping air rights over it
  • quit talking about giving county taxpayer owned property, the airport, to the city
  • review, write, and approve a Policy Manual for the airport – while seeking recommendations from the public at large

The airport discussion starts at about the 53:50 mark in the below video:

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