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Columbia Press

Columnists & Other Opinions

Letter to the Editor: Concerned about airport lease

By Scott Widdicombe, Warrenton, Friday, August 3, 2018

First, the Port of Astoria wanted taxpayers to provide bond funding for two new executive hangars and new infrastructure at the south end of the airport for the proposed new Life Flight hangar.

There was never any explanation for the new executive hangars that would be part of the new construction.

Life Flight has tried repeatedly to obtain permission to develop its new hangar at their expense in their current location and have been denied.

In early June, the Port Commission publicly complained about financial conditions at the airport because of old lease responsibilities.

The port is authorizing a potential 50-year lease (20 years plus six 5-year extension options) to a private company for less than $8,000 a year. The private company pays for the new 6,000-square-foot hangar for this private plane.

I’m not sure who the ultimate user of this new hangar will be. However, the new hangar will be located directly next to the Lektro building.

I don’t know the specific size requirements for the Life Flight hangar/crew quarters. However, I think Life Flight should be offered this space on the same terms as this new private party since they had the first public need for a permanent home. 

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