Edgar airport funds held up, await FAA zoning review
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it must review the Illinois Department of Transportation's (IDOT) finding that Edgar County Airport is in compliance with the Airport Zoning Act before the airport can apply for federal airport funds, the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) reported recently.
The ECW contended that a July letter from IDOT's Chief Counsel William Barnes did not actually say the airport had complied with Illinois law, which requires that airports be zoned specifically for airport use. Edgar County does not have zoning laws.
The airport had planned to use airport improvement funds to expand the apron and move its fuel tanks. The Prairie Press reported that the plans were derailed when Robert Bogue, a local resident, filed a complaint arguing that the airport did not qualify for state or federal funding because the land was not zoned for airport use.
After receiving Bogue's complaint, IDOT informed the Edgar County Board in April 2016 that the Edgar County Airport was not zoned for airport purposes. In response, the county adopted a resolution intended to fulfill the intent of the Airport Zoning Act and prevent the creation of airport hazards.
While the latest response from IDOT informed the county that the airport was now in compliance and eligible to apply for Airport Improvement Funds, the FAA informed IDOT on July 11 that no funds could be issued until the FAA has reviewed the zoning issues.