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County's airport board re-elects slate of officers

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By Laura Hagan

There are three things members of the Oldham County Airport Board want to learn before making a determination whether bringing an airport to the county is a good idea or not.Board chair Jonathan Westbrook said the board is examining economic impact, what an airport would do to property values and possible ongoing expenses for anairport.These studies, which are usually done after a site is chosen, will be completed in advance.“We want to ask these questions before we move forward,” Westbrook said.At a meeting June 4, board members discussed what they were looking for with each of the studies, as well as plan for a request for qualification. Westbrook said a request is necessary to find entities to conduct the studies, whether the entities look at some or all areas.Westbrook said he plans to meet with the new commissioner of aviation, to discuss the project. The board received a $206,000 grant for the feasibility and site selection study, of which Westbrook said $119,000 is left. The board hopes to use that money for the studies on economic impact, property values and ongoing costs. He said in addition to looking at Oldham County, the studies will show other counties’ experience in studying the possibility of bringing an airport to their area.“We want a holistic and objective study,” Westbrook said.The request for qualification will be advertised and he said he hopes to see responses by the end of July, as well as have an answer from the Department of Aviation concerning the grant money.Board members also discussed creating a Web site to provide information about the project to residents.Westbrook said hopes know by the next meeting whether that is possible.The board also elected officers during the meeting.Board members re-elected Westbrook as chair, Alex Babey as vice-chair and Dr. Tom Clark as secretary/treasurer.The next meeting is 4:30 p.m. Aug. 13 in the Fiscal Court meeting room.

E-mail us about this story at: lhagan@oldhamera.com.