WOOSE Addresses Worthington City Council
Posted Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:23 pm EDT
Comments made by WOOSE President Dennis S. Hennen to Worthington City Council on July 18, 2005.
On Wednesday Dean Baeslack presented an update of the OSU Airport Development plans. In a
nut-shell, they have delayed the large hangars and runway extension for 2-3 years and will implement
a (quote) "state-of-the-art" noise complaint system.
I am here to tell you tonight this is not a victory for us. We have gained nothing, and we must
continue to be vigilant.
Dean Baeslack promised they will be investing about $300,000 in their new noise complaint system.
However, after years of ignoring the noise problem they have a long way to go to before any trust
can be put into this. There was no discussion on when this will be implemented, where the money
will come from, or any details what-so-ever, even though we asked for details over a month ago. In
fact, most of his presentation was spent dismissing the validity of the noise complaints the airport
has already received. If only the same energy had been spent considering solutions, we might have
less noise today.
Dean Baeslack said they will delay building the jet hangars and runway extension. As far as noise
impacts, this simply means a short reprieve from an increase in noise. If they are not stopped, at
the end of the day the University will still have an expanded airport that has far out-grown the
In fact, public records we received from the FAA late last week show that some of the hangars they
plan to build that we thought would only house small aircraft may in fact house large, twin engine
propeller aircraft. These are used largely by corporations and are as big of a problem as the jets.
Again, we see the airport catering to their corporate clientele at the expense of the rest of us,
even in this scaled down plan.
Mr. Baeslack spoke often concerning his cooperation with the community and the openness of this
process. While I commend them for their overall transparency,, they continue to stonewall our
requests for documents. For example, on Tuesday before the meeting, and again on Friday -- after
Baeslack's pledge of cooperation -- the University *still* refused to provide us with requested
The University still has every intention to expand the airport, and as has been demonstrated to me
*since Wednesday*, they still are working in secrecy. It is critical that we continue to fight and
do not let our guard down. The importance of this is underscored by comments made to the Dispatch
by the OSU Board of Trustees Chairman Daniel Slane. "He asserted that airport development and
a new runway *will* and *should* happen." Fortunately, he is only one of many Board members.
We still have the opportunity to convince the board as a
whole of the folly of this plan. I hope that council will continue with your efforts to understand
these issues and to protect our wonderful city.
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