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New Ennis Airport

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I’m not sure if the Press had a reporter at the Ennis Library last Thursday evening, as Coffman Associates, hired by the City of Ennis to oversee evaluation, feasibility, etc. of the proposed new airport presented....whatever they presented.

I was there, and along with a pretty fair number of other citizens, proudly wore an "Airport No" badge on my shirt.

Quite honestly, I’m not sure how many who were there were in favor of it, probably a slight majority if you consider mayors, commissioners, city managers and Coffman employees!

I’m opposed to the new airport for several reasons, including (1) spending a lot of money to be able to land corporate jets seems to be addressing something unnecessary and out of favor right now, (2) landing them will only promote a bigger industrial base, which is not the direction a lot of citizens want to city to go, (3) my personal conjecture is that the amount that Ennis citizens will be saddled with, as regards costs, will be much greater than the public spin city hall is putting on the project, and (4) I would be willing to wager that if put to a vote (it’s proceeding on a city resolution with a little holy water sprinkled on Steve Howerton to handle it), a new airport would fail miserably at the polls.

The amount being bantered around as of now for purchase and construction of this airport is about $35 million. Publicly we’re being told that TxDot, and this and that grant, will pay for 90 percent of it all.

First, bragging about some other public entity paying for something is exactly the entitlement mentality that has this country in a problem. Don’t those who say that understand that we’re all taxpayers, that ultimately all that money comes from the public.

Secondly, my wife and were told at the first Coffman Associates public meeting at the library on June 7, 2006 that TxDot would pay for 90 percent of the land and runway. If that’s the case, and that’s what I’m trying to confirm, then the citizens would be left holding the bag for the other 10 percent, plus paying for an infrastructure of utilities, buildings, equipment, furniture and fixtures.

We asked the Coffman rep twice, so we made sure we understood him. That’s what he said.

In any case, a new $35M airport, regardless of who pays for it, will gain us 1,000 feet of runway. That figures to $35,000 a foot, if my calculations are correct!

My question to ECP is, do you have any information other than press releases from the City of Ennis as to who will pay for a new airport? If you have, or get that information, please share it with me.

Thanks for your time.

Sam Tenpenny


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Nelson Propane

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