AeroModelers Club seeks Union Mills airstrip Commissioners defer decision on site CENTRAL -- Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg

June 30, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

The Westminster AeroModelers Club wants the county to build an airstrip at a Union Mills farm instead of the John Owings Landfill because the farm is more remote and noise from the planes would bother fewer people.

Yesterday, the Carroll commissioners discussed potential sites for an airstrip but postponed their decision.

Club members had said either site would be acceptable for their radio-controlled planes. However, they said in a letter this week to Recreation and Parks Director Richard J. Soisson that they preferred the farm site.

Commissioner Donald I. Dell said last week that he preferred the landfill, but said yesterday he would agree to building an airstrip at the county-owned farm in Union Mills if it didn't disturb the farmer who rents the land.

"I agree it's the better site, but I want it written in blood they won't chase George Mullinix off," he said.

Mr. Mullinix, a Westminster farmer, uses the land to spread chicken manure. His operation would not be disturbed by the planes, although the county would take one acre from him for the airstrip and a parking lot, Mr. Soisson said.

The property, the former Spiegel farm, is near Kowomu Trail and Rinehart Road. The county bought the land for a reservoir planned in the area. Mr. Mullinix has a lifetime lease on the farm, Mr. Dell said.

Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said last week that he would like the airstrip built on the Spiegel farm.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said she does not have a preference and would have to see both sites before making a decision.

She asked yesterday whether the board could postpone its decision until next week.

AeroModelers Club members have been flying at a temporary site at the closed John Owings Landfill, on Route 97 north of Westminster, since August 1992.

The county had planned to move the airstrip to the top of the landfill when the facility is capped next summer.

In December, neighbors complained about noise from the planes. Mr. Dell suggested that county officials and club members look at the Spiegel farm as an alternative.

Some residents said last week they opposed the airstrip at the farm because noise from the planes would disturb the quiet area.

AeroModelers President James Garrett, Vice President Robert Allen and member Raymond K. Miles Jr. wrote Mr. Soisson that the club voted unanimously in favor of locating the airstrip at the farm.

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