Funding Halted For Blue Ash Airport

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The cash-starved city of Cincinnati might be looking lustily at 230 acres of prime real estate it owns as a cash cow, but those using Blue Ash Airport hope not. The city has a $450,000 FAA grant in the bank to resurface the runway or do other improvements but it's decided not to spend it. Using the money would mean guaranteeing the future of the airport, as an airport, for another 20 years. "We're just trying to keep our options open," Transportation Director Eileen Enabnit told The Cincinnati Enquirer. The city will also give up a $150,000 annual grant from the FAA. Meanwhile, the runway is in need of some attention. Bill Christian, owner of Schmidt Aviation, said the potholes and uneven pavement are a liability issue. The city says the runway doesn't need replacing and the rough spots will be repaired. Although the rumor mill is full of stories of developers lining up to pluck the real-estate plum, Airports Manager Dan Dickten said the airport won't necessarily be sold for development. "There is no intention I am aware of to close the airport or not maintain it," Dickten said. But that doesn't wash with officials in Blue Ash, which is a separate jurisdiction from Cincinnati. "A lot of people are wondering and we're among them," said Blue Ash City Manager Marvin Thompson.