Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

June 18, 2014

Opponents say airport expansion not needed

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is part of a series that explores issues related to the proposed expansion of the Greensburg airport. Please read this week’s issues of the Greensburg Daily News for more stories in the series which begain on Tuesday, June 17.

GREENSBURG — On a few quiet acres of rural land in southwestern Greensburg, Marc Haston likes to walk his dogs near a meandering creek. He watches the occasional deer dash across his property. He feels connected to the land when he sees farmers planting or harvesting crops.

Haston, 61, grew up on the property, along County Road 280W, and built his house there in 2002.

He planned to retire there — but the city wants part of his property to expand the Greensburg Municipal Airport to foster economic growth. Haston said the expansion would disrupt the idyllic setting, lower the property’s value and destroy his dream of a peaceful life in the country.

Haston’s neighbor Larry Robbins also enjoys the rural life, far away from the noises and smells of the city. He and his wife, Pam, have lived on their patch of land for 30 years. Pam’s parents owned the property before them.

Their home sits next to a small lake, which, is bordered by an expanse of green, shielded by a wooded area on a short but steep slope. However, the trees would be turned into stumps if the airport were expanded, Robbins said, and that would eliminate wildlife habitat and rob him and his wife of the sights and sounds of birds and deer. Instead, they would see planes descending and rising, and hear the clatter of their engines.

A third land owner in the area, Phil Goddard, worries about the loss of farmland and his heritage: The Goddard family has owned the land since 1850 — before the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.

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