An Email from Rich Dougherty (former township council member, local business owner and still policically inclined) as well as a response from me……….
For those that would like to have input on what reuse plan takes place at the Navy Base, it is VERY important to show up and participate at the next few HLRA (Horsham Land Reuse Authority) meetings. The next meeting is Wed, April 20th at the Community center behind the township building. There will only be a few meetings that will determine the eventual outcome so we need to make sure we participate.
For those that are not familiar with what is happening, there are two formidable groups (Montgomery County and Buck County Airport Authority) that have submitted official requests (NOI’s) to continue using the airport which creates a real threat to Horsham. Horsham Township govt. is doing everything in their power to prevent this but community input is extremely important to the redevelopment process. To help prevent an airport from happening in our township, we need as many people to come out and tell the HLRA at least what we do not want at the Base.
Please forward to anyone who you feel should be made aware of what is taking place. We need help spreading the word.
Many Companies • One Solution
101 Witmer Road, Suite 700
Horsham, PA 19044
Phone: 1-800-521-0754, ext. 113
“Partnering With You For The Advancement of Science”
************************* And I say********************
Rich, I understand your concern with a general purpose commercial airport. What about the possibility of having an airport that housed some kind of a hi tech industry or an industry that possibly would refit a large aircraft for military duty, or science. It could be a service facility for aircraft or another aviation industry that does not have multiple daily flight operations (take off and landing). The aircraft would be brought in and possibly be there for a week or even months while it is being repaired or refit for a new purpose. The engineers, technicians and other personnel that are employed would pay taxes in the area, along with the support industries, which would further expand employment and the tax base. These are some aspects for consideration.
It would be a shame if the runway were to be destroyed since an infrastructure like that can’t be duplicated in the area again. The possibility of an air strip being there to invite industries that will create jobs and tax revenues can not be ignored. Mixed uses at the facility might just be the answer. Many of the residents are up in arms about the loss of $750,000 in tax revenue. I’m sure that you have heard that the American Le Mans Series (IMSA) has approached the powers that be to pay over a million dollars to use the facility once a year for two weeks. This one event alone solves the tax issues without even considering the dollars to be injected to the local economy from the people that would come to such an event. Sebring, Florida and Long Beach, California have the same racing events every year. Thos two towns are certainly not low rent districts, as well as co existing with aviation related industries. There are aviation related industries associated with those air strips (also abandoned military installations) that utilize the runway with limited flight operations.
The notion that an airstrip, just being there, means that it has to be used for any and every purpose for aircraft is nothing more that a slanting of the truth. If a runway can be legislated out of existence then it can certainly be kept to a standard that is acceptable to the community and used as an asset to the community.
What is the threat of having a runway that is not a commercial aviation airport?