Portland

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Set to take flight or be grounded?

Published 8:58am Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lawrence County’s Commissioners are smart to at least consider all the options when it comes to the county’s airport and the land it sits on.

The Chesapeake property has long posed an interesting conundrum for county leaders. Even with recent upgrades and others that could be on the horizon, the airport simply doesn’t currently have the facilities to be of much use from a business or economic development standpoint. The airport is primarily something that only benefits recreational pilots.

The situation gets even more complicated when you factor in that the property was given to the county but will revert back to its original family ownership if it isn’t used as an airport.

But Commission President Bill Pratt is in the early stages of pursuing the idea of trying to utilize the property for commercial or retail development.

There would be many hurtles that would have to be overcome including finding suitable tenants and working out an agreement with the original property owners.

But there is certainly no harm in performing the due diligence to analyze all the options. Getting this information could go along way toward answering the most important question: Does the airport benefit Lawrence County and are we willing to commit to it long-term?

If the answer is yes, then county leaders must go “all in” to fully invest in developing it into a facility that can truly help Lawrence County take flight.

 

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