Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Greenberg appointed to airport board

EIS is topic for discussion at Tuesday’s meeting

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County Commissioner Jacob Greenberg was expected to take his seat on the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority board Tuesday night, filling a seat left vacant by former County Commissioner Tom Bowman, who resigned in October. The meeting was scheduled to take place after press deadline Tuesday.

Though Greenberg was appointed to succeed him, Bowman agreed to remain on the Airport Authority board through its January meeting. As Bowman was chair, and former Vice Chair Martha Burke resigned from the authority board in December, new Vice Chair Susan McBryant was chosen to lead the authority’s February meeting.

According to the authority’s bylaws, new officers will be elected during the March meeting.

The county commissioners also discussed the fate of a replacement airport environmental impact study on Tuesday morning.

The draft study must be terminated if the Airport Authority decides to proceed with finding a different site for an airport to replace the current facility in Hailey. 

Currently, the study has been suspended by the Federal Aviation Administration, which stated in August 2011 that it did not believe the community had the funds to commit to a replacement airport at the sites being considered, as wildlife mitigation efforts and other considerations would make the project extraordinarily expensive.

The city of Hailey has since pushed for a termination of the EIS and a new siting study in an attempt to find a more affordable site. The FAA agreed last month to fund a siting study for a new airport and terminate the EIS if the Airport Authority makes an official request. 

The commissioners did not come to a group decision Tuesday, but agreed to discuss the issue further at Tuesday night’s airport meeting. Airport Manager Rick Baird told the commissioners that terminating the EIS would give the authority more control over planning.

“If we continue with the EIS, the FAA is in the driver’s seat,” he said.

Kate Wutz:




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