Supporters of the Glenwood Springs Airport launch ballot initiative
Supporters of the Glenwood Springs Airport are launching a ballot initiative to garner better long-term protections for the city-owned facility.
If the ballot initiative petition is successful, voters will be able to determine if the city should be required to continue to own, operate, repair and maintain the airport, including the facilities, improvements and 3,305-foot runway as configured, unless and until a majority of qualified electors of Glenwood Springs approve the sale or redevelopment of the airport property.
“Nothing in this provision shall prohibit the city from constructing a tunnel under the airport runway or extending the runway,” according to a document being circulated by proponents of the ballot initiative.
Such a tunnel is being designed as part of the city’s massive South Bridge Project, which does not yet have full funding or a timeline for completion.
The group behind the airport initiative aims to address the issue on the Nov. 2 ballot, by proposing to amend the City Charter to give the airport the same protections as given other city assets, such as parks.
Eric Strautman spoke on behalf of the group pushing for the initiative, saying that the group’s goal is to have over 1,000 signatures.
“We don’t want anything to be questioned when they count the signatures,” Strautman said.
Strautman, who is a local business owner and pilot in Glenwood Springs, said the group is well on its way to achieving its goal of 1,000 signatures, though only around 600 are needed to get the question on the ballot.
“There will be no problem getting the minimum,” Strautman said.
Strautman noted that every few years someone proposes developing the airport into something else, and anytime the public has a voice in it, a majority has always supported the airport.
The idea is to always ensure whatever happens to the airport down the road is a public decision, not the decision of any one developer or City Council, he said.
Strautman said that, right now, it seems the good will towards the airport is as good as it’s ever been, so the timing for a ballot question is appropriate.
Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or email@example.com.
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