Recently, local resident Allen Nielsen has run advertisement in the Norwalk Reflector regarding the Huron County Airport.
In his ads, Mr. Nielsen correctly identifies the cost that Huron County taxpayers will have to assume to shift the current runway at Huron County Airport west to accommodate three illegal light poles erected by the raceway owner in 2016. The intention of the county commissioners is to cut 1,200 to 1,600 feet off the eastern end of the current runway to mitigate for the raceway’s illegal light poles, then add 800 feet on the west end, which would reduce the total runway length to about 3,500 feet.
Mr. Nielsen also correctly states that at the same time, the current airport authority and commissioners shift the runway westward to accommodate the raceway’s illegal light poles, their plans (the airport authority/commissioners) plan which shortens the runway, practically eliminates business jet traffic and the economic growth the current 4,200 feet of runway provides our community. It would certainly be more cost effective for the private business owner to remove the three illegal light poles that were installed without getting the proper state permits, and use an alternative measure that doesn’t constitute an obvious safety hazard for air traffic at Huron County Airport.
The alternative being pursued for the raceway owner by the current airport authority board, and the county commissioners, is to provide the privately-owned seasonal business with whatever is needed at the cost of sticking county taxpayers with a $300,000 to $400,000 bill which ends up shortening the runway length and reducing the usefulness of the airport.
EDITOR’S NOTE: J.W. Kelley is a former HCAA board member and past president.