Golf Course Versus Airport

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FAA Demands $13.3 Million...

The golf course might win. A 20-year-old agreement between the feds and a city is now contested. It seems an FAA grant paid for (most of) the cost of 267 acres of land for future airport expansion in Ocean City, Md. The FAA now claims that Ocean City isn't living up to its end of the deal and the FAA wants to be paid back for the land -- land that has since sprouted Eagle's Landing, a highly acclaimed golf course owned by the city. Municipal officials in the resort community have warned the FAA to back off on its demand for $13.3 million in compensation for the federally funded, city-owned land now known as Eagle's Landing Golf Course. Actually, the city has implied that if the FAA doesn't back down, the airport might have to go. "The lack of a workable solution may force the town to ponder the future of the airport," Mayor Jim Mathias told the FAA in a letter obtained by the Maryland Coast Dispatch. Eagle's Landing Golf Course is rated one of the top 75 public courses in the U.S. by Golf Digest and at least two of its holes are barely a wedge shot from the nearest runway. The airport Web site even notes there's a "golf course on the field." The recent controversy has prompted some city council members to consider selling the golf course to cover the cost of the FAA demands. There are about a dozen privately owned golf courses in the immediate area.