Committeereleases alternative study

Published on Thu, Sep 7, 2006
Read More News

Committee releases alternative study

The use of the Blaine airport property for commercial and retail purposes could create 332 jobs and $460,000 in estimated tax revenues in 2025, according to a study completed by the Blaine Alternative Land Use Committee, a group formed to study alternative uses to the Blaine municipal airport.

In a final meeting Tuesday, the committee concluded with the presentation of its final analysis to the city. The forecast, was made by consultants MAKERS architecture and design and BST Associates, and predicts approximately one-third of the property would be used for commercial and retail purposes by 2025. The analysis used figures from the Blaine Airport Master Plan, which calls for a $20 million upgrade and airport expansion to be paid for mostly by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Washington State Department of Transportation with the city of Blaine picking up less than a half million.

Members of the committee, however, acknowledged they had not calculated in some factors such as an underestimated demand for hangar space, the fact that the city’s financial contribution to the proposed airport expansion has already been paid through land acquisition costs associated with the Carruther’s family property, and that hangar leases generate leaseholder tax revenue.

The figures were also assuming the construction of new roads and other infrastructure, the costs of which have not yet been accounted for in the analysis.

The committee was formed by the Blaine city council in November 2005, after residents approved an advisory ballot asking if the city of Blaine should explore the feasibility of abandoning the airport as a municipal function.

The committee is scheduled to make a formal presentation to the city council and the public at 7 p.m. September 18 at the Blaine Community Center, 763 G Street.