Crash Site Landowner Wants More Money

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The owner of a farm where Comair Flight 5191 crashed has sued the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Airport Board over its valuation of the property, which it would need to lengthen the runway that the regional jet mistakenly took off from. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Elkhorn Bend, a limited liability company that owns the 115-acre property off the end of 3,500-foot Runway 26, paid $748,000 for the land in 2005. Now it says it's worth $3.4 million. A certified appraisal commissioned by the airport board pegged the value at $1.75 million last May. Elkhorn Bend filed the suit Nov. 28, saying the county intends to acquire the property through condemnation and the suit is intended to prevent it from paying too little. Elkhorn Bend owner Nick Bentley approached the airport board about the possible sale well before the crash, and the county agreed to commission an appraisal. The airport board is considering a long-range plan to expand Runway 26 to 5,000 feet, but no decisions have been made. Airport Executive Director Mike Gobb said the board is interested in the property at what it considers a fair price and no condemnation proceedings have started. "He's [Bentley] a willing seller because he approached us. We've not initiated any condemnation," Gobb said. "Our appraisal does not match with his asking price."