More questions after airport workshop

I attended an airport workshop meeting and had expected to hear two sides of an ongoing issue with weight controls. I don't believe I heard two sides. The following are my thoughts gathered from the meeting.

It was stated that we, as Douglas County taxpaying residents, don't have a choice as to what our airport is now and will be in the future.

I believe there are always options. We may not have as many options today as we did a few years ago or the options may be harder to obtain due to the present situation, but nevertheless we do have options.

The voters over the years have made it publicly known we wish to have a rural, small airport accommodating local and small aircraft.

There are those who have decided not to acknowledge the wishes of the voters and raise the weight limits at the airport beyond what the community desires as appropriate for our community.

We are told, due to acceptance of FAA grants, we must change our regulations and desires to accommodate these grant requirements.

Someone had to apply for the FAA grants. They must have met the grant requirements to receive those grants. Under normal circumstances, government agencies would expect those requesting the grants to be in compliance in order to receive the grants. Therefore, the FAA accepted and gave the grants in full knowledge. This didn't happen once, but three times. If the grants were applied for using false information, shame on you. If you applied for a grant beyond the community desires, shame on you again. I have known the citizens of Nevada and Douglas County to be independent people who don't really want to be beholding to the federal government. Everyone knows that if you accept federal funds, you must obey their rules. You are no longer in control, but the FAA is.

If those who requested the funds did so using false information they should be held responsible for any repayment necessary and resign their positions. Those local authorities in control should be serving the needs of the voting community. Even if you think the voters are stupid or don't know what they are doing, you are there to support their desires, not your own personal desires or those of a few.

There are those stating we will owe the FAA millions of dollars. It has been my understanding that grants given are not expected to be paid back unless they were received under false pretense. I also believe in these economic times, when President Obama is handing out dollars to those who haven't been responsible with their finances, there certainly could be an agreement of partial or full forgiveness of the supposed grant indebtedness.

It would seem to me that the commissioners, county and the airport authority have used the funding to pave the runways to accommodate aircraft undesirable by our voting citizens. If we maintained the weight controls the community desired to keep it a rural, small community airport, the citizens would be happy. You seem to be accommodating some who desire to use Nevada for their financial gain.

If the county has a contract to maintain the airport, it comes from the taxpayers monies. If you are not upholding the taxpayers' wishes, then the contract should be void. I'd like to know how much taxpayer money goes into that maintenance annually. All that was mentioned at the meeting was approximate dollars contributed to the county by the airport.

I am not in favor of closing the airport and do believe it contributes to our community. I believe it needs to be regulated and maintained according to the desires of our voting community.

It was stated jets are quieter than prop planes. I believe the sound of the smaller prop plane is a more familiar and soothing sound because of the slower speed. Jet sounds of a faster moving, high flying aircraft, making a quicker accent or descent over the mountains is not compatible with the desires of our community. Our clean air is important to us. Our night sky is important to us. Our tranquility is important to us. These are qualities of life that are very important to us and our future generations. I believe allowing larger aircraft to us our airport, compromises those qualities. When larger aircraft come over the Sierra and have to make a quick deceleration and decent, the engines are dropped into a lower gear and fuel emissions are released over our skies. This is an unpleasant sound as is the taking off and having to ascend at a quicker rate. We have relatively quiet skies, clean air and desire to maintain that. It would only take 1 crash of a larger aircraft to scatter debris over much of the town. It would be a horrible disaster for all our citizens and hard to recover from.

I believe we should do what we must to have the FAA grant money debt (if it is an actual debt) reduced or forgiven. Do our best not to use FAA monies in the future unless it agrees with the wishes of the majority voters. The 20 year contract, if signed, needs to meet the desires of the community. Those in authority locally need to remember their commitment to serve our residing community members. If those in authority at the airport are not serving our residing community members, I believe the county should not have to use taxpayer monies to maintain the airport.

I hope the next meetings regarding this subject will have speakers who give the audience information from all perspectives and a more neutral overview. I would like to see more of our residents in attendance as this is very important to our community now and in the future. Become educated so you can vote wisely when it becomes a ballot issue.

Beverly Giannopulos is a Minden resident


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