Ocean City Asks FAA To Delay Golf Course Ultimatum
The city of Ocean City, Md., is asking the FAA for more time to come up with a plan to buy, sell, transfer or otherwise rid itself of the complications a successful golf course has created in relation to the local airport. As AVweb reported earlier, the FAA wants $13.3 million from Ocean City to pay for 267 acres of land next to the airport; the land was purchased with federal grants 20 years ago and was originally intended to provide a buffer and expansion room for the airport. But the development of the golf course (with FAA approval), and the city's reluctance to surrender any of the fairways and greens for airport use, have prompted the agency to ask for its money back. City council members originally thought the FAA wanted a check in the mail by April 10 but the agency has since explained that the money isn't required immediately, just a plan to pay it back. However, City Council President Rick Meehan says his council needs more time to review its options. "We thought we had an open line of communication but reasonable people need to discuss it in a reasonable manner," he said. The main issue is the FAA's valuation of the land, which the city claims is too high. "Our intent is to work with the FAA to come up with a reasonable solution," said Meehan. "The council thinks both the airport and the golf course are important and would like to continue to see them operate." No time frame was suggested by Meehan. Discussions with the FAA on the future of the golf course property have gone on since the mid-1990s.