April 24, 2010 in City

Colville considers new airport

By The Spokesman-Review
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Comments must be received by 5 p.m., May 6.

E-mail: hpannell@ colville.wa.us

Mail: Colville City Clerk, 170 S. Oak St., Colville, WA 99114

Colville city officials are revisiting a decades-old proposal to relocate the municipal airport.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, the City Council will consider a preliminary capital improvement plan and a financial feasibility plan for moving the airport.

Also, the council is soliciting written public comments on a proposed statement of need for the project.

The statement says a new airport is needed for safety as well as to support the local economy. The existing airport can’t handle corporate jets.

It has an unusually short, 2,400-foot runway and is on a bluff surrounded by housing.

In October 1991, a single-engine Cessna overshot the runway upon landing and crashed into the neighborhood at the bottom of the bluff. The pilot called it a “miracle of God” that no one was seriously injured.

A subsequent effort to move the airport proved controversial even though state and federal agencies would have paid more than 90 percent of the $4.5 million cost. Environmental and aviation issues contributed to difficulties in choosing a site.

Eventually, most of the hurdles were cleared, but the project collapsed in March 1997 when city officials were unable to close a deal for Vaagen Bros. land near U.S. Highway 395 at the western edge of town.

The new statement of need for moving the airport is available at City Hall or on the city’s website, www.colville.wa.us.

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