Honesty and Fairness in Public Statements

Columbia County, New York, politicos have not been fully fair in their attempt to acquire an easement from a golf course. The government officials leave the impression that money will be unavailable because of sequestration. In reality, sequestration is not permanent, and it is likely sequestration will no longer be an issue by the time the proposed airport expansion occurs. Yet, to inform the community that the runway will not be long enough and jets will not be able to travel is not true. As such, it is not fair to provide the public with gross inaccuracies.


“We agreed to do a layout of the plan and a layout of the hangar,” he said. “The idea is to bring in, not take, revenue from the county.”

So he said he will approach the supervisors for a lease of land for the hangar in the future. He told Supervisor Art Baer, R-Hillsdale, he has no idea when the purchase of land from Meadowgreens owner Carmen Nero will go through.

In December, Flood said 95 percent of the costs would be reimbursed by the Federal Aviation Administration, with the remainder being covered by the state.

“The FAA is very clear,” Flood said Monday. “With sequestration, you’ll go beyond when the money’s available. The money is there now, in a federal grant.”

Supervisor Art Bassin, D-Ancram, noting that this information had been obtained second-hand, indicated he wanted more assurance that this money is actually there.

“The next step is condemnation,” Baer said.

“What happens if we don’t get this land?” asked Bassin.

“We’ll have to shorten the runway by 800 feet, there will be no more jets or charters,” Flood said. Richmor Aviation, the airport operator, employs 40 people, he said, suggesting their jobs would be at risk.

“Can we do eminent domain?” asked Supervisor Sarah Sterling, D-Hudson1.

“We’re limited to market value,” said Baer, who used eminent domain in creating the Hillsdale sewer system.

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