Friday, January 21, 2005

Big turnout expected for airport site meeting

Express Staff Writer

If promises mean anything, a large group of Camas County residents can be expected to pack next week's airport site selection committee meeting to vent their feelings about a potential site being considered by the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority.

Scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 25, the committee will meet in the second floor conference room of the Old Blaine County Courthouse.

A large turnout was promised after some 200 residents heard a briefing in Fairfield last week about the airport site selection process.

Most who spoke or asked questions of Friedman authority chair Mary Ann Mix and the Hailey airport's manager, Rick Baird, opposed Site No. 13, located about 10 miles east of Fairfield alongside U.S. Highway 20.

Opponents apparently believe that using pressure en masse will torpedo the Camas County site, having read about residents of the Bellevue Triangle turning out in force to protest—and effectively end—any consideration of their locale for an airport.

One factor receiving more attention and discussion—in addition to the impact of a 1,000-acre airport on an agricultural county with less than 2,000 residents—is heavy ground fog that bedevils the area.

Baird said weather and climate at candidate sites are major areas of study on the selection checklist.

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