Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Advisors get their wish: an assignment


By PAT MURPHY
Express Staff Writer

After appealing to the Blaine County Commission for projects to tackle, members of the Blaine County Aviation Action Committee will get their wish at a Sept. 7 meeting with the commissioners.

Commission Chair Larry Schoen said he would ask the airport advisers to take on the task of determining some ancillary costs of building and opening a replacement airport for Friedman Memorial.

These costs would generally be outside of the scope of work now being handled by a financial consultant, Chicago-based Ricondo and Associates. Ricondo is determining costs of an airport's construction and operations as well as ways to fund the project.

The committee's assignment, Schoen said, would include studying the need for transportation systems to the airport and how to pay for them.

The airport advisers have complained they lacked work. One member, Chris Stephens, a jet pilot and businessman picked to represent the aviation community, resigned out of frustration, according to committee members. Stephens never officially gave a reason for his resignation.

Schoen said a successor to Stephens would be found after the committee has a work agenda.

The committee was created at the height of criticisms from north valley business and political leaders that the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority did not adequately represent their interests. Three of its five members represent the three County Commission districts, one represents the aviation community and one at-large member represents the entire county.




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