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July 24, 2024

Edgar County Airport's Crosswind Runway Violated State Law –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 19, 2015

Edgar Co., IL. (ECWd) –
The Crosswind Runway Project that the Edgar County Airport completed back in 2012, was approved and constructed in violation of state law.
The General County Airport and Landing Field Act, 620 ILCS 40, is the enabling statute for the Edgar County Airport.
In order to use land for the expansion of airport landing fields, the Act requires said land to be zoned for airport purposes. Edgar County does not have zoning.
The second paragraph in Section 1 of the Act states:

No land may be used for the expansion of airport landing fields until it has been zoned for airport purposes by the county or municipality having the zoning power over such land, as the case may be.

I suspect this will become an issue with past construction projects at the airport, and in future and pending airport projects.
From Day 1 we have continued to express the need for local public bodies to follow the law, not simply follow “how they have always done it”, because violating the law in order to accomplish things always comes back to bite, it is only a matter of time.
Edgar County does not have zoning. Edgar County cannot use land to expand airport landing fields. Period.
Any grants or loans they may have received in the past for such projects are subject to cancelation and repayment. The Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics, has the power to enforce Illinois Law in pertaining to aviation, such as the General County Airport and Landing Field Act:

20 ILCS 2705/2705-100. Aeronautics; transfer from Department of Aeronautics. The Department has the power to exercise, administer, and enforce, through a Division of Aeronautics, all rights, powers, and duties vested in the Department of Aeronautics by the Illinois Aeronautics Act. The Department has the power to regulate and supervise aeronautics in this State and to administer and enforce all laws of this State pertaining to aeronautics.

2016 will prove to be another exciting year.


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  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 10:16h, 19 December Reply

    In addition to the cross wind runway, there was also a main runway extension that occurred under the same circumstances. Perhaps, there is even more to learn as we move forward.
    The funding for airport projects Edgar County has already received…. required county zoning and that’s the law. I’m certain there will be consequences for the Edgar County Airport as well as for the Edgar County Taxpayers.
    County Board members, Jeff Voigt, Carl Farnham and Mike Heltsley have been/are/were serving on the airport committee: and on the county board for most of the time, if not all of the time the cross wind project was constructed.
    These same three board members/airport committee members were also serving subsequent to the completion of the cross wind runway when another project was proposed and halted by the FAA because of the many lies told on the grant application (which they were well aware of). Remember the claim of 35 airplanes described “as inaccuracies” when there were only 16? Remember the claim of only having a 1,000 gallon Jet A fuel tank…when they were actually using a 10,000 gallon tank? These three board members were well aware of these lies before that project was halted.
    We now have another, latest edition, of an airport project which has drawn fire from several quarters for many of the same reasons.
    The facts are: the history of our airport…the firebombing of aircraft…the mysterious unreported crashes, the lies on the grant applications….the violations of grant assurances…the hiring of mistresses, and less than truthful flunkie managers, …the on again off again mandated insurance requirements (remember Chris Patrick refused to provide his documents for public inspection)……..then the undocumented cash from rent and “parlor fees”…as well as the free hanger and property use for a select few…… followed by transfers from the airport farm funds into the general fund…and the illegal board meetings..are all the direct result of these three county board members that were not and have not been operating in the best interests of those funding his airport. The Edgar County Taxpayer.
    Add to this the harassment and badgering endured by my son, blocking hanger doors so he could not deliver repaired aircraft and refusing to accept rent, the intimidation and harassment of my family, the banning of Rusty’s wife, a nursing mother, from the airport for nursing her daughter on property they were renting at the airport…and the many threats to himself, his business and family are all among a long list of horrible things that occurred at this airport. These were documented and this continued only because these three board members, Voigt, Farnham and Heltsley allowed and protected these actions along with others.
    The law is clear regarding Airport expansion projects. In addition to the $80,000 budgeted by Edgar County for airport operation….and another $60,000 collected annually in our Airport Farm Rent Fund….. County Zoning is required by State Law for any of the past and future airport expansions. At the present moment, this county does not have zoning. However, we do have a very few Illinois aviators and a very few Indiana aviators enjoying the use of the airport graciously provided by the Edgar County Taxpayers.

  • Disgusted
    Posted at 12:17h, 19 December Reply

    It’s all about geography, reputation and the local S/A.
    Geography – State or federal law enforcement don’t want to travel from Champaign, Springfield,
    Chicago or Indianapolis. It’s not convenient for them (airplane arson case).
    Reputation – Outside law enforcement doesn’t want to take a chance of getting hung up in a law
    -suit. The Steidl/Whitlock case plays a big part in that. Guys like Farnham
    Crippes, Hopper and Burgin also figure in to that equation.
    S/A – The recent history of Matt Sullivan and Isaf as S/As scares outside law
    enforcement away.They know how enept and corrupt these clowns are.
    Edgar county has to have an honest Sheriff and state’s attorney before changes can be made. Edgar county has neither right now.

  • Brock
    Posted at 17:57h, 29 January Reply

    What do counties with no zoning power do? I know the city has the ability, but I don’t recall any zoning done by the county.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 18:08h, 29 January Reply

      Simple, they don’t expand. This is depending on which statute the county airport operates under…

      • Brock
        Posted at 08:25h, 30 January Reply

        They don’t expand? What kind of solution is that?

        • jmkraft
          Posted at 09:13h, 30 January Reply

          They can referendum for zoning if they want, then expand.

          • Brock
            Posted at 11:01h, 30 January

            Why didn’t you just say that in the beginning? Have you mentioned that to the county? mentioning what you said to the county might be a good idea. Isn’t that what you guys do?

          • jmkraft
            Posted at 14:04h, 30 January

            We have said it the county and they ignore it like usual, then complain when we sue them.

          • jmkraft
            Posted at 16:08h, 30 January

            Brock: We mention it to the county at every meeting they have. I had to sue the county a couple years ago just to have a Judge force them to tell me which Illinois Statute they were following with the airport. they refused to tell me, so I sued them, made them look like idiots, and the Judge had to tell them to tell me which statute they were following.
            Do I expect them to listen? No. But I tell them anyway. that way when we sue them, the public will know they were duly warned ahead of time and made the decision to violate the law.
            We cannot force them to do anything without a court order. They are hard-headed.

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