KINGS COUNTY - County council made it official Jan. 22 - the Waterville airport will be coming in for a landing at 14 Wing Greenwood.
County council approved both the airport’s 10-year business plan and a funding grant of $1.147 million towards infrastructure on Jan. 22.
Coun. Peter Muttart, Coun. Pauline Raven and Coun. Jim Winsor all expressed their satisfaction with the proposed business plan - which will see the county will rent the area for $24,000 a year and sublease it to the Freedom Aviation Society - but said it was Paul Eason’s information, not the report prepared for the council by MMM Group Ltd., that changed their minds.
“We could have saved $30,000 to $40,000 if we had just listened to Paul Eason from the beginning,” said Coun. Bob Best.
Atwater said he was hopeful this could also be an economic driver.
“I’m confident, with all of my fingers and toes crossed, that we’ll create 250 jobs in Greenwood,” said Coun. Wayne Atwater.
Winsor still has concerns about the location, but agreed that it was time to move forward.
“We’re 99 miles down a 100 mile road. How do we go back to square one from here?” Winsor asked.
Also discussed was the awarding of a grant to the Freedom Aviation Society of $1,147,400. After much discussion, an amendment was made to the motion, stating that council would agree to the amount of the grant, but that they would take immediate steps towards obtaining federal and provincial funding to help finance it by meeting with provincial municipal affairs minister Mark Furey and federal MPs Scott Brison and Colin Fraser.
Council passed both motions, which means there will be civilian aircraft at 14 Wing by March 31.
Eason, who was present at the meeting, thanked council.
“I want to thank the Municipality of Kings for having the courage to start something new,” said Eason.
While he acknowledged that there were challenges ahead for the future, he remains confident that they can be overcome by working together.