Thursday, February 02, 2012

Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins Seeks Solution for Essex Skypark Airport (W48), Baltimore, Maryland.

The county councilwoman hopes to facilitate a meeting between County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and representatives of the 70-year-old airport.

Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins said she is among those who want to ensure the Essex Skypark remains open.

Bevins, an Oliver Beach Democrat, met with members of the Essex Skypark Association in December. She hopes to facilitate a meeting soon between the group and county officials in hopes of finding a solution for keeping the 70-year-old airport in operation.

Baltimore County officials recently informed the Essex Skypark Association that the county plans on eventually taking over the 40-acre site in order to comply with federal pollutant mandates for the area, plant trees, protect birds, improve water quality along Back River, replace forests destroyed by other development in the county and help to mitigate other pollution issues along the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“The Essex Skypark is something that the community wants to remain,” Bevins said. “If you talk to people in the other six council districts, who else is going to welcome an airport into their community? I’m examining all the issues involved and hope we can work this out for everybody involved.”

“The Essex Skypark does a lot for the community and it doesn’t come with the noise of many larger airports,” Bevins said. “I know this is a resource residents in the community want preserved.”

District 7 Dels. Pat McDonough and Rick Impallaria have filed legislation that would prohibit Baltimore County from taking control of the skypark and would guarantee the facility would continue to operate.

Also, the District 6 delegation — Sen. Norman Stone, along with Dels. John Olszewski Jr. , Joseph “Sonny” Minnick and Michael Weir Jr.wrote to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz seeking additional information on the county’s stance on this issue.

Kamenetz spokeswoman Ellen Kobler said the county executive is set to meet with the District 6 representatives, but has not made any guarantees one way or another.

“The county executive is willing to listen to all sides of this issue,” Kobler said.

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