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Board Votes 3-2 Against County Airport Expansion

Commissioners Doug Howard and Dave Roush voted for the Carroll County Regional Airport expansion.

In front of a packed room Thursday, the Carroll County Commissioners voted 3-2 against expansion of the Carroll County Regional Airport.

Commissioners Doug Howard, District 5, and Dave Roush, District 3, voted for the expansion, while Commissioners Robin Frazier, District 1, Haven Shoemaker, District 2, and Richard Rothschild, District 4, voted against the project.

The decision was years in the making, beginning with the previous board of commissioners constructing a master plan that included the expansion of the airport.

would have included the purchase of 13 acres of land to increase the size of the runway, expanding the airport to accommodate larger C3 planes, including corporate jets. 

Thursday’s decision means that the Carroll County Regional Airport will remain a C2 airport that can continue to accommodate smaller planes.

Commissioner Howard said the larger airport was needed to relieve Federal Aviation Administration traffic at BWI.

"I think a state-of-the-art facility would be an asset to the county," he added, saying that it would create jobs for the county.

According to a previous , if Carroll County decided to move forward with the planned expansion, the county would ultimately pay for 2.5 percent of the $74 million. Ninety-five percent would be funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the other 2.5 percent would be paid for by the state.

Commissioner Rothschild said, "From a convenience perspective, there’s no compelling advantage… If we wouldn’t do it with county money then we shouldn’t do it with federal money."

However, Rothschild said he was still open to looking into a C2 expansion.

Even with the breakdown in costs, Commissioner Frazier said Thursday she didn’t think it would get the use that the county needs to afford paying for such a project.

"During the campaign I was against the airport," she said. "Those companies that have those jets are smart, but I don’t think where the location of Carroll County is will necessarily bring those corporate jets here."

But Commissioner Roush, who voted for the expansion, disagreed, saying that this money--if not used for this project--would be used for similar projects elsewhere.

"I would like to remind everyone that the money is coming from a fund called the Airport Improvement Program funded by fees paid by air travelers. That money is there to improve airport access and safety, and if it’s not going to be spent at Westminster it will be spent somewhere else on similar projects."

JC January 29, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Joe, spending is spending, & they can't do it if there will be no money. You must support Obama, huh?
JoeEldersburg January 29, 2012 at 09:15 PM
No, not that it matters, but I'm a registered Republican. And most assuredly, all spending is not spending, nor is all debt the same...but this is definitely a Tea Party supported fallacy. When the government borrows to invest in our economic interests it's far different than borrowing to finance debt service or balance the budget as our congress has done to finance operations in the wake of the Bush tax cuts. US tax revenues have been cut to the point where our borrowings are a threat to the quality of life of all "working" Americans. The top 1% are taking the rest of our country on a wild ride with the aid of unlimited super PAC's that represent "people" to the supreme court. The Tea Party is just too uniformed to realize that they are being used to undermine their own interests for the benefits of the rich. If people started seeing the Tea Party for what it is, the American version of the Taliban, we might start waking up to the reality that the government is not our enemy and tax cuts do not create jobs. The facts are readily available, but some people just seem to believe fairy tales.
JC January 29, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Oh my goodness Joe, you are so misinformed. Loss of tax revenue & the "top 1%", are not what's ruining this country. That would be massive, uncontrolled spending, done by partly by the Bush administration & mostly the current one. All the Tea Party stands for is fiscal responsibility, which is in large part cutting spending. And you are partially correct, government in itself is not the enemy, but a bloated, out-of-control government (as we have now), is. And, tax cuts DO create & continue jobs. Tax increases CUT jobs. Out of control spending (which, so as to veer back to the subject at hand, is our state's main problem), costs jobs & puts us in debt for generations.
Ed January 30, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Actually, the fire pretction is based more on potential human risk. While in theory the longer runway could accomdate a 737, the purpose at the local airport was to allow corporate jets with more powerful engines and longer flight capabilities the ability to land here. It's never been about regularly scheduled commercial flights, and even that doesn't automatically require an airport fire department. For example, at various times over the last few decades, there have been attempts to establish regular passenger flights at Cumberland, Hagerstown and Salisbury,mostly on prop or tubo prop commuter planes (typically with seating for less than 30 passengers) and yet none of those airports has an on-site department. Yet that type of service has never been envision at Carroll. By the way, the biggest aviation "disaster" in recent history in Carroll happened about 25 years ago when a four-passenger plane crashed near a cul-de-sac in Eldersburg, killing all four passengers. The despite the fact that much more air traffic comes into the Westminster airport, which has had very few accidents over the years.
Ed January 30, 2012 at 03:14 AM
I agree about the dumping aspect, hence my idea for a 20-year plan. For the record, though, this idea was first brought up by the Ehrlich administration. The difference is that with him, the Dems in the GA would never have given it a chance. We will see what happens with a Dem making the proposal.

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