Please Help Save Wakulla County Airport
Please Help Save Wakulla County Airport
Why this petition matters
Hello Fellow Citizens,
You may have read in the September 8 issue of the Wakulla News that the Wakulla County Florida Board of County Commissioners will have a public meeting at 5 pm on September 19th 2022 in the Commission Chambers to to abandon, deactivate and cease operations of the Wakulla County Airport.
I am hoping many of you are willing to sign this petition and send an email expressing your vote for the Wakulla County Airport to remain an operating airport. Maybe some of you have picked up clients or friends at the airport and understand why an airport is considered by many as a valuable piece of infrastructure for any County. Here are a few other reasons you may not be familiar with for the BOC to keep the Airport open.
1. Military training: there are three military bases that do water training in the Bay and utilize the Wakulla County Airport for pilot changes as well as short field take off and landing training.
2. Flight training operations would cease. Flight instructors from around the area use the Airport to teach landing on grass strips as well as other maneuvers.
3. The Airport is used as a staging area for emergency evacuations and relief in the event of a weather event. After Hurricane Michael, there were military operations bringing in supplies for Wakulla and surrounding areas. The Forestry Service also uses the Airport as needed.
4. Medevac has utilized the Wakulla County Airport for many years and has been credited with saving the life of Bill Russell, former fire chief at Ochlockonee Bay.
5. Tarpine properties have an additional tax assessment called the "Airport Amenity." According to the Property Appraiser, Ed Brimner, that assessment will be removed from all of the properties and will cost the County and School Board approximately $40,000 per year.
6. Wakulla High School is starting a new program in Aerospace Technologies. Students in the program would benefit from having an airport nearby with residents from Tarpine who are retired pilots, mechanics, controllers and avionic specialists.
The BOC will say the reason to close the Airport is F.S. Chapter 333 which requires an expensive noise study. Tarpine residents have been advised by the Florida Department of Transportation that the noise study is not required for the Wakulla County Airport. Unfortunately, the BOC does not recognize a verbal conversation with FDOT as good enough to believe the noise study is not required. The County Manager is well aware that the noise study is not required and the County Attorney is skeptical. This is being used as an excuse to close the Airport.
The cost to taxpayers is very minimal. Tarpine residents have been maintaining the Airport for many years. The County donated a tractor to be used for mowing. The County Airport budget is split between the Tarpine HOA (80%) and the Hanger development owner (20%) and is paid annually to the County. The County includes the Airport under their insurance umbrella and the cost is less than $3,000 annually.
I, and all other residents of Tarpine, would appreciate your help in conveying to the BOC that the Wakulla County Airport is a valuable asset for the County and will bring growth to the Tarpine subdivision just as it was planned to do many years ago when the County approved the development of Tarpine as a "fly-in community" adjacent to the Wakulla County Airport.
I am happy to answer any questions you have about the Airport or Tarpine. Feel free to share this information with others who are supportive of the Wakulla County Airport.
Thank you for helping the Board of Commissioners see that many people in Wakulla and Franklin Counties are in favor of saving the Airport.
The Commissioner's email addresses are:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much.....Citizens for the Wakulla County Airport