County to Discuss Acquiring Additional Land at Airport, Demolish Old Fire Station

HAGERSTOWN, MD News (9/12/2022) – On Tuesday, September 13, the Washington County Commissioners will discuss and vote on a proposal to approve land acquisition for FAA Runway Visibility Zone (RVZ) and Runway Object Free Area (ROFA) compliance by exercise of the power of eminent domain. The sellers are anticipated to consent to the acquisition, and a public hearing on the proposed acquisition was held on August 30, 2022.

According to the meeting agenda, currently, Washington County does not own the RVZ area, which has the airfield fence and old fire station, preventing line-of-sight requirements for the RVZ. Therefore, there is an operational restriction on Runway 2-20 after the Air Traffic Control Tower closes between the hours of 10 PM and 6 AM. In addition, the airfield fence along Runway 2-20 is in the ROFA and must be moved to outside of the ROFA, requiring additional property acquisition.

Estimated total costs are approximately $1,600,000 for acquisition of the property, as well as removal of the fire station and moving the fences to outside of the ROFA. The project will be funded with 90% FAA funds and 5% MAA funds, leaving the county with only 5% of the cost to come out of the general fund.

The County Commissioner meeting will start on Tuesday at 10 am at 100 West Washington Street, Suite 1113, and is typically also available on the county’s YouTube channel.

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