110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
posted May 26, 2010 - 7:53:37pm
After learning it will cost more than they thought to put up an air traffic control tower on the DeLand Municipal Airport, city commissioners have nixed the project.
After less than an hour of discussion at a special meeting that began at 6 p.m. today, May 26, at City Hall, the City Commission voted unanimously to postpone the project for the near future.
Fear that the tower would eat up all city monies targeted for airport improvements — and then some — spurred the vote.
City Manager Michael Pleus pointed out the city would need to borrow $350,000 to obtain a grant for construction of the control tower from the Florida Department of Transportation. A site behind the Airport Restaurant & Gin Mill had been selected for the tower.
"I can't see coming to you with the recommendation to fund the money," Pleus said.
Neither could City Engineer Keith Riger.
The best-guess estimate for the cost of the tower was $1.76 million. Operating and maintenance costs would be added to that.
The decision not to build a tower to regulate traffic on the airport comes as a relief to DeLand's skydiving industry.
Industry representatives have told the DeLand City Commission repeatedly that a tower could cripple their businesses, by slowing takeoffs and landings at the airport.
The city will revisit the tower topic in two to four years, Pleus said, after another review of the airport master plan. Whether state grant money will be available then to help fuel the project is not known.
The comments posted below are posted by readers, not by The Beacon staff. These comments express the views and opinions of the authors, and not the administrators, moderators or webmaster. The comments forum is governed by these rules. Please use the report abuse link if you find offensive comments.
Did you find this story interesting or informative? Subscribe to The West Volusia Beacon to read more stories by Pat Hatfield and Barb Shepherd, along with others from our award-winning writers. Subscribe now!