Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New airport authority needed

The county commissioners must create and empower a New Airport Authority. The NAA will take on all activities and responsibilities for development of a future new airport somewhere in the outer reaches of the county. The NAA would relieve the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority of any involvement in new airport matters. This will allow FMAA to devote 100 percent of its interests and activities solely to matters of betterment of the present existing airport, which will remain the responsibility of FMAA.

The new airport will be publicly owned by all the people and taxpayers of Blaine County, and the makeup of the NAA board will demonstrate that. The board of the NAA will be proportionately representative of the areas paying off in their increased property taxes the $225 million total cost of the 30-year bonds issued to pay for construction of the new airport. The NAA board will have seven members. Four members will be representative of the upper valley, north of the Valley Club through Ketchum and Sun Valley to the SNRA. Two members will be representative of the area from the Valley Club through Hailey and Bellevue to Base Line Road. One member will represent the balance of the county.

At present and for years past, the FMAA has been dominated and controlled by the provincial interests of the Hailey political establishment. There is no justification to continue and extend that domination to a new airport far away from the city of Hailey. However, through a joint agreement, the county commissioners have given the Hailey political establishment inordinate control of the process of developing and operating the future airport.

The best interests of all the county's people are not served with such Hailey political interest control of such an important component of all the county's economic well-being.

Milt Adam

Sun Valley

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