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Washington County to spend $100,000 on analysis projects at airport

November 29, 2011

The Washington Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved funding for two Hagerstown Regional Airport projects.

The commissioners agreed to spend $70,000 on an environmental assessment of all remaining sites in the airport’s northwest quadrant. The study is expected to take 18 to 24 months.

The commissioners also agreed to spend $35,000 on a land valuation analysis, or appraisal, of property at the airport, expected to take about six months.

A request from the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission’s Resource Development Committee described the two projects as “critical” and must be done “before any additional development can occur.”

The environmental assessment is required by the Federal Aviation Administration, the request said.

The FAA also requires the airport to justify how it calculates rental rates, the request said, noting that “Such an analysis has not occurred since the airport was acquired by the County in 1981.”

There are plans to eventually build nine buildings with about 232,000 square feet in the northwest quadrant, according to a fact sheet about the airport.

Jefry A. Bohn, the chairman of the EDC’s Resource Development Committee, said the airport is great for local economic development.

Commissioner William B. McKinley agreed.

To create jobs, “this is the kind of investment we have to make,” McKinley said.

The $105,000 will come from an airport contingency account within the county’s general fund, according to County Administrator Gregory B. Murray.

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— Andrew Schotz

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