salt Lake Wants Tooele Land for GA Airport

A landowner in Tooele County faces possible condemnation of some of his property as Salt Lake City works to expand an airport it runs there.

The Salt Lake City Council on Tuesday unanimously initiated eminent-domain proceedings on two parcels of land east of the Tooele Valley Airport in Erda, Tooele County, owned by Six Mile Ranch.

The airport, also known as Bolinder Field and Salt Lake Airport No. 3, is run by the city's Department of Airports. It has received federal money for an instrument-landing system that will allow flight-school aircraft and other general aviation to land in Tooele, rather than using valuable airspace at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

The federal funding must be used by October. For the system to be installed, buffers, air rights and other use of land bordering the airport is necessary.

The plan has been criticized by some affected landowners, who say the city isn't offering them enough for their property.

But Councilman Eric Jergensen said eminent domain, the process that would ultimately allow the city to take the land by condemnation, "is not something this council enters into lightly."

A handful of landowners will need to give up their land for the project to go forward, but the council only started the process on the two parcels owned by Six Mile Ranch. Jergensen said they are hopeful the city and landowners of the other properties can work out a voluntary resolution for the city to buy the land, but if that doesn't happen, the council may come back and start eminent-domain proceedings for their property.

The land the city needs all borders the airport, and no one will have to move from their homes. E-mail:

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