9-11-2001

 

Our Goal - Keep Witham Field a Community Friendly Airport

 

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WAAM Current Events

Witham Airport Action Majority
2336 SE Ocean Blvd. #172
Stuart, FL   34996
Phone (772) 283-9777
email: waam@
waam.org

 

 

Special Updates - June 1, 2013

For the present time, the Air Traffic Control Tower at Witham Field will remain in operation

Customs at Witham still in play with bids for construction being opened the week of June 3rd 2013

 

 

Customs at Witham Field - Were do we stand?


The Customs Facility being pushed by local airport operators and airport staff has become a financial boondoggle. Everything we were told about this project appears to have been pie in the sky guesstimates including the report from the consultants that were hired by Martin County to examine the feasibly of a fee based Customs Facility at Witham Field.

According to the latest report by airport staff (see attached item 7A), it will cost the taxpayers somewhere in the neighborhood of $625 thousand dollars to move forward on building a customs facility at Witham Field.

A customs facility will have little or no financial benefit to our community (it only enhances the profits of our local Fixed Base Operators (FBO's) while at the same time, it increases air traffic at our airport. The public must understand that increasing traffic at the airport provides little to no financial benefit to our community - but it does increase noise and pollution while negatively impacting our lives and property values. Decreased property values for communities within a 5 mile radius of the airport can be substantial. Many residents are not aware that a 5 mile radius includes the City of Stuart, Palm City, the Town of Sewall's Point and Jensen Beach. As traffic increases at the airport, the 5 mile radius increases so if you are not bothered by the airport now, you can expect that to change in the future if the airport continues to grow.

So where do we stand on the customs issue?

Background :

* When proposed, we were told that the Customs Facility was an Economic Development Project - an economic windfall for Martin County that would produce jobs.
* We were assured that Federal and State Funding would fund building the Customs Facility with NO local money needed other than a small amount from the Airport Enterprise Fund. (20%)
* Were were assured that NO local taxpayer funding (ad valorum) would be used.
* We were told the facility would cost around $600 thousand to build, with the money to build to come from the FAA and the State Department of Transportation grants. (80/20)
* We were told the money to operate the facility ($200 thousand a year) would come from user fees with the majority of the funding being generated by the boating community (40% aircraft - 60% from boaters)
* Staff was asked to verify the Business Plan Report submitted by the Economic Development Council (EDC) as to the feasibility of a User Fee Customs Facility which they did with a positive report for building a customs facility which was presented to the Board of County Commissioners.


What is the truth? What does item 7A being brought forward tomorrow say?

* The Customs Facility is no longer being called and Economic Development Project to enhance our community - but is now being called an "Airport Enhancement".
* The Customs Facility is no longer being called a " Fee Based Customs Facility" it is now being called an "International Arrival Facility at Witham Field".
* The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) had denied any use of Federal Funding.
* The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) had denied any FDOT funding if the Customs Facility is used for boaters - it MUST be used by aircraft only and they will only fund the facility at 50%
* Alan Bersin, Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection has denied the use of a Customs Facility at Witham Field for marine traffic including local boaters.
* The cost for building a Customs Facility has gone from $600 thousand to $1.25 million.
* Jobs are no longer the focus for the facility - Airport Enhancement is now the justification.
* Airport Staff and the Consultants failed to discover important facts which make a Customs Facility infeasible - for instance funding is not available in the FDOT 5 year plan.
* That US Customs regulations may be amended addressing Fee Based Customs Facilities, but no mention is made of the regulation change process which must be published, is long and requires public input - none of which has been done.


A customs facility at Witham Field is opposed by the Town of Sewall's Point, the Guardians of Martin County, the Consensus Organization, WAAM and local residents. Please join with us to also oppose this bad and expensive idea.


 

 

 

Latest WAAM Newsletter
(click on link above)

March 2012

(newsletter is in PDF format - if you do not have Adobe Reader, use link below)


Download

 

 

 

Please renew, contribute to or join WAAM today.

 

You can download the membership form and mail your check to us - please click on one of these links:

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For Detailed Reference Data, Please Visit
The WAAM Reference Webpage

 

 

 

 

Want to print out the comparison Flyer between John Wayne Airport vs. Witham Field?

Click Here to Download Flyer in Word Format

 


 

 

 

 

The Illegal Extension of Runway 12/30
 

WAAM Whitepaper
Published July 2, 2005
 

Overview

This document presents in detail, the Martin County Airport/Witham Field runway 12/30 extension project approved and completed in 1998. The Martin County Airport has (3) active runways.  These runways are; 12/30, 7/25 and 16/34. While it appears that safety violations may exist with respect to runways 7/25 and 16/34, this document does not address those issues at this time. This document will only address the illegal extension of runway 12/30, and what impact that extension had on the community.  

To download and read the full text of the whitepaper including detailed pictures -  download this PDF file

WAAM Whitepaper


(click on this link)
 

 

 

 

Wake Up Martin County - Want to know what is in store for you?
This is what happened in West Palm Beach

Palm Beach County Buyout and Insulation Program

 

What does the proposed Buyout Program mean to Martin County?

~~~~

You only have to look South to:

Palm Beach County International (PBI) Home Buyout and Insulation Program


The following was received from Ms. Lisa De La Rionda, Palm Beach County Department of Airports
Noise Abatement and Technical Services Division - Palm Beach International Airport in response to questions submitted by WAAM.

The answers received in response to WAAM's questions are in Red

Buyout Program
Date buyout program at PBI was initiated? 1987 
How many homes have been purchased so far? 500+ 
What was the criteria that qualified homes to be purchased? Noise level over 65 DNL 
What has been the total cost to date of the home buyout program? Approximately $100 million 
What was the average cost per home purchased? Fair-market appraised value 
What sources of funding have been utilized for the buyout program?
Federal - 80% 
State - 10% 
Local - 10% 
What was the source of local funding? Environmental operating fees 
How many additional homes do you anticipate being purchased in the future as part of the program? -/+ 25 homes 
What is the anticipated cost of the buyout of additional homes? Undetermined 
What sources of funding will be used for the additional buyout of homes?
Federal - 80% 
State - 10% 
Local - 10% 

It is my understanding that Golfview was purchase and razed as part of the expansion program at PBI. Would you provide data as to how many homes were purchased in that community and what the cost was for the purchase of those homes?

Palm Beach County purchased 76 parcels consisting of 79.9 acres of Town of Golfview for $17,110,103 (100% FAA/FDOT/Passenger Facility Charge funded).


Insulation Program
Date insulation program at PBI was initiated? 1997
How many homes have been insulated so far? 308 
What was the criteria that qualified homes to be insulated? Eligibility requirements (65 DNL, owner-occupied, clear title, single family)
Were homeowners required to leave their homes when the work was being done? No 
What was the average time involved from start to finish when insulating a home? Construction - 2 weeks 
What has been the total cost to date of the home insulation program? Approximately $9 million 
What sources of funding have been utilized for the insulating program?
Federal - 80% 
State - 10% 
Local - 10% 
What was the source of local funding? Environmental operating fees 
How many additional homes do you anticipate being insulated in the future as part of the program? -/+ 65 
What is the anticipated cost of the insulation of additional homes? average construction cost $27,500 
What sources of funding will be used for the additional insulation of homes?
Federal - 80% 
State - 10% 
Local - 10%

As a Martin County property owner and taxpayer,
is this what you want ??