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County Airport Runway Expansion Tabled

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Cuyahoga County's commissioners Thursday tabled a proposal to extend the runway at it's eastern suburban airport after hearing impassioned objections at their weekly public meeting. Ideastream's Bill Rice reports.

Thursday, April 24, 2008 at 6:00 pm

The commissioners had been set to approve the expansion as an economic development driver, despite complaints that added aircraft noise and jet fumes would diminish residents' quality of life. But a string of opponents of the plan turned out to testify at Thursday's hearing, including Scott Coleman, Mayor of Highland Heights.

Coleman: "This isn't a vote, a political vote, its not a vote that will affect 100 homes, its going to affect 1000 homes and the quality of life of tens of thousands of people in Highland Heights and Richmond Heights and Willoughby hills and communities that are not even represented here."

The number of supporters who testified was small compared to the number of opponents, and that was enough for Commissioner Tim Hagan to put the brakes on the plan.

Hagan: "What's disturbing to me is that those who have an economic interest in that airport and have articulated a view about the economic interest did not come here with the same kind of fervor and passion that these homeowners have. So I am not prepared to support this today."

The commissioners will decide at some future date whether to send the plan to the Federal Aviation Administration. If, in the end, it goes forward, it will be years before construction begins.

Bill Rice, 90.3.

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