December 10, 2009

Master plan proposed for Washburn Airport

By Stu Merry, BHG News Service

An ad hoc committee has been charged with drawing up a preliminary ordinance that will in essence create a master plan for the Washburn Airport. Jennifer Einrem of Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson told the McLean County Commission during its meeting Dec. 1 that the firm was hired by the Washburn Airport to make a Land Use Compatibility Plan regarding the land surrounding the airport. A hearing during the commission meeting was to get direction from the board and to field input from area landowners adjacent to the airport. In essence, the meeting was to discuss establishing air space zoning for the facility. Without such a plan federal funding could be compromised. Einrem explained the measures taken to control air space and land use around the airport. She said existing hazards should be removed or marked, while future hazards need to be prevented. Discussion included expanding compatibility and hazard issues, controlling air apace and hazards removal, thus protecting airspace around the airport. Items include limiting noise levels, maximizing safety, establishing height restrictions and reducing the potential for wildlife habitating the area. "Its up to us to set the parameters," said Commissioner Julie Hudson-Schenfisch.

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