Land near airport to be bought

March 03, 1999

SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer

The Hagerstown Regional Airport will be 103 acres larger as the result of a Tuesday vote by the Washington County Commissioners.

Only one person, the owner of a motel near the airport, spoke at a public hearing on the county's proposed purchase of two land parcels.

Doug Leazier, owner of the Air View Inn, said he opposed the purchase because he thinks the county should buy his property, too.


Dean Lowry, the county real property administrator, said the county eventually might need to purchase Leazier's land but it is not as essential to the airport as the two parcels voted on Tuesday.

The land will be part of the airport runway protection zone. Land in a runway protection zone has limited legal uses to prevent it from impeding the approach and departure of airplanes, Airport Manager Carolyn Motz said.

The land is needed regardless of whether the county extends the airport runway, Motz said.

Later in the day the County Commissioners told Motz to start gathering information needed in order to ask the Federal Aviation Administration for money for an expansion.

The commissioners voted unanimously to buy:

* An 84.6-acre parcel owned by the Jacob Engle Foundation Inc., on the east side of U.S. 11 and on the south side of Air View Road. It is on the south side of runway 27.

* A 19.03-acre parcel owned by Mylin E. Horst, representing the estate of Nora M. Horst, east of Interstate 81 and northwest of the airport. The property is just west of taxiway G.

The Engle property is being purchased for $840,000, of which $42,000 will be paid by the county, Motz said.

The Horst property is being bought for $500,000, of which $25,000 will come from the county.

The county and the state government each pay 5 percent of the cost while the FAA pays the other 90 percent.

The Horst property will be added to the airport business park, providing space for another aviation-related business, Motz said.

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