By Michael Howell
The County Commissioners, on Friday, August 19, authorized the application for a federal grant to update the Environmental Assessment that was rejected soon after the three new commissioners took their seats on the board.
An EA examining several options for airport improvements had been initiated by the previous board. That EA, which was prepared by Morrison-Maierle Engineering, presented one of the options, Option 2A, as the preferred option based upon the analysis of costs and impacts to the environment. But when the FAA returned the EA for final signatures from the county, the new commission refused to sign off on it.
Now the commissioners want to update that EA to show another preferred option. The process would include considering all the previous options including extending the runway, a proposition that was hotly contested in the public debate.
The updating of the EA will be conducted by Robert Peccia and Associates and is projected to cost about $75,000. The original EA cost about $50,000. If the county receives the grant from the FAA to conduct the updating, the FAA will pay for 95 percent of the cost and the county will have to come up with about $3,750.
Commissioner Ron Stoltz was named as the contact person for the project.