City acquiring bid for shoreline-access project upgrade

Published 8:38 am Thursday, February 15, 2007

By Staff
Council approves airport-related matters
By MIKE VOSS, Contributing Editor
Washington has appropriated $60,000 to buy nearly 115 acres southwest of the U.S. 17 Highway bridge across the Pamlico River and adjacent to land the city already owns.
The City Council, during its meeting Monday, appropriated the money which comes from a grant from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. The land, known as the Barger tract, is being purchased as part of an effort to protect and improve the water quality of the Pamlico-Tar River.
The property will become part of a linear park that’s planned for the city-owned land southwest of the U.S. 17 bridge, said Bobby Roberson, the city’s planning and development director. The city believes the highest and best use of the land is for conservation and recreation. The city has plans for a shoreline access project on its land. The proposed project includes a fishing pier and boardwalk through the low-lying woodlands and wetlands that make up much of the property — about 220 acres — the city owns on the south side of the river and west of the bridge.
In other business, the council awarded the right to hunt deer on Warren Field Airport property for three years to Outback Outfitters &Guide Service of Washington. The company will pay the city $600 a year during the three-year period for exclusive rights to conduct bow-hunting trips.
Allowing the hunting of deer on the airport property is seen as one way to decrease the number of deer intruding on airport property, including runways. During the 2006 deer-hunting season, an experimental program resulted in 18 deer being taken by bow hunters. City officials said the presence of deer on runways poses danger to aircraft landing or taking off.
In another airport matter, Tradewind Aviation has taken over management of the airport. Earlier this year, the city reached an agreement with Tradewind to manage the airport.
According to City Manager James C. Smith, Tradewind is preparing to start a parachute center at the airport. Tradewind is providing a “courtesy car” to people who fly in to the airport and need transportation to locations in the area so they can conduct business.
In addition to the parachute center, Tradewind proposes to provide several aviation-related activities at the airport. They include an air-charter service, pilot shop, training in sports-category airplanes, glider school and avionics maintenance and sales.
Tradewind Aviation, owned by Thomas Dolder, is based at the Craven Regional Airport near New Bern.
The council approved leasing land at the airport to John Jensen Jr., a Washington resident who plans to build a 2,500-square-foot hangar at the airport. In addition to the monthly rent of $625, the city would also receive revenues from taxes on the hangar and additional fuel sales generated at the airport, according to a city document. The proposed lease rate is 25 cents per square foot with an annual consumer-price index adjustment included in the lease agreement.
The hangar will be built at Jensen’s expense. It will become the city’s property after the hangar’s 15-year depreciation period, according to the document.