Airport looks to eminent domain to acquire property: Meadville PA Tribune, 11/2/07

By Jane Smith

Before the Crawford County [PA] Regional Airport Authority can remove obstructions at Port Meadville Airport, it needs a permanent easement from a property owner to take some of her land.

The authority filed an “eminent domain declaration of taking” in Crawford County Prothonotary’s Office Thursday, seeking the easement that will eventually allow pilots to have a clearer view of the runway when landing.

It plans to take over ownership of 6.6 acres of the approximate 29.25 acres owned by Marian Galbo along Cutter Road. The easement will allow removal of obstructions and provide air easements for navigational purposes.

In the petition for the easement, the authority noted it was not able to reach an agreement regarding just compensation for the land with the property owner.

“We offered the property owner $2,500 and we believe it is a fair price,” said Roy Brant, authority member. He said the airport authority is held accountable by the Federal Aviation Administration. One condition when the authority accepted the airport was the removal of trees that were obstructing the views of planes coming in from the west, said Brant.

He said there are restrictions on the height of the trees by the FAA and the trees on the land are higher than permitted. The offer made for the property was based on what the Bureau of Aviation was willing to approve, Brant said.

The property owner is exercising her right, and now the decision about how much she should receive will be up to the court, Brant said.

Galbo said Thursday she has “no comment,” and she referred questions to her attorney, Diane Adsit, who also declined comment.

Meadville PA Tribune: http://www.meadvilletribune.com