Springdale Panel votes to condemn 6.6-acre site for airport

The Springdale Airport Commission voted Thursday to condemn 6.6 acres and offer the owner $428,000.

The acquisition would create room to expand the 5,302-foot runway and taxi way at Springdale Municipal Airport by as much as 300 feet and perhaps to build new hangars.

The commission's decision to recommend condemnation comes eight months after its first offer was made in October. The proposal now heads to the City Council and is expected to be on the July 10 agenda.

"I'm pushing for runway expansion, and this is part of it," city finance manager Wyman Morgan said.

In April, the airport board told Morgan to revisit the October offer and determine if the entire 6.6-acre tract was needed for improvements.Commissioners were hoping to buy less land and spend less money. Morgan and engineer Frank McIllwain of Fayettevillebased Garver Engineers told commissioners Thursday that because of height restrictions around airports, it made sense to buy the entire parcel and level the trees there.

The extension will make Springdale more competitive in fuel sales, Morgan said.

Morgan had been negotiating with the manager of the land, Lloyd Hicks, who represents his family's interest in the property.

The Federal Aviation Administration would pay for nearly all of the purchase, while the state would pay the remainder.

In March, Hicks produced a 2000 appraisal saying the land was worth $440,000. Morgan responded by having Hicks' appraisal reviewed and concluded that it was flawed. Morgan said the property, based on Hicks' criteria, was only worth $272,750.

Once the offer of $428,000 had been made, FAA regulations would not allow the city to make a lower offer, Morgan said.

This article was published 06/22/2007



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