Airport moratorium to be topic of Owls Head meeting – Knox County VillageSoup

OWLS HEAD – The Owls Head Selection Committee will hear a request that the city impose a moratorium on additional construction projects at Knox County Regional Airport.

The Board of Directors is scheduled to meet at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21 at the Community Building.

The Owls Head Airport Advisory Committee is on the agenda to formally ask the selection committee to bring the matter to the residents. The annual municipal meeting will take place in August.

A few residents raised the possibility of a moratorium at the May 23 Council meeting. They said it was necessary to get the county to negotiate a new deal that would limit expansion.

The selection committee can vote to place the question on the mandate of the municipal assembly or the citizens can collect signatures. Last year, for example, a petition was submitted to the city office to allow event centers. This was signed by 106 residents – more than the 95 required for items to be placed on a town meeting mandate.

The question of the moratorium arises as the proposal for 15 new hangars remains in limbo. The Planning Board approved 23 hangars at its March 14 meeting, including eight in the first phase and 15 in the second phase. Since then, however, 12 residents, including two members of the Owls Head planning board – Ken Wexler and Russell Wolfertz – have filed a second phase appeal with the town’s appeal board.

No date for a meeting of the appeal committee has been set.

Airport manager Jeremy Shaw said the city’s ordinance requires the appeal board to make a decision within 35 days of an appeal, and the appeal was filed more than 60 years ago. days.

The Select Board negotiated a proposed new interlocal agreement with Knox County, but that initial proposal was defeated, 124-14, by Owls Head residents at a town meeting in June 2021. Opponents claimed that the 2021 proposal would have removed the rights the city had with the previous agreement that expired in 2021. That agreement had been reached 20 years earlier.

An ad hoc committee of Owls Head residents presented a revised proposal. The FAA sent a letter to the county on April 18 saying it could not accept the proposed deal because several provisions would remove control of the airport from Knox County, unfairly discriminate against airport users and violate rules. from the FAA and provide assurances. Knox County rejected the proposal.

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Jessica C. Bell