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Ports Agree -Pangborn Airport Project A-Go 4/8/2013
After a minor glitch last week- the Ports of Chelan and DouglasCounties have settled on a 5 year agreement to operate Pangborn Memorial Airport- paving the way for the $30 million runway expansion to begin.
 
Previously, the Port of Chelan proposed an agreement- but last week, the Port of Douglas County Commissioners changed some wording that dramatically changed the plan. During their meeting on Thursday, the Port of Chelan commissioners approved those changes.
 
The agreement will dissolve the Airport Governing Board and assign sole responsibility for airport operations to the Port of Chelan and reduces the share of expenses for the Port of Douglas County.
 
The FAA has not yet given the ports their final approval for the runway project, which, according to Mark Urdahl, Director of the Port of Chelan, is necessary because, although the current runway length works most of the time, they do occasionally run into problems.
 
Several parcels of land will need to be acquired in order to complete the project, and those who own those parcels have been part of continued discussions.
 
In a case such as this, governmental agencies have the power to exercise Eminent Domain, which allows them to acquire private property for public use for fair compensation and following th process of the law.
 
In this case, however, Urdahl does not believe any such action will be required.
 
Both ports are expected to sign the agreement tomorrow.
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