From WTRE - 9/1/10

"A concerned citizens group of Decatur County has hired an attorney to get their own answers about the Greensburg Airport Expansion. Jean Johanningman serves as the contact person between the group and they attorney they have hired as their representation, Steve Taber."
Click here to see original story and listen to the spot.

WTRE coverage of "Move It or Lose It" meeting held October 7, 2009

Talking to Jean Johannigman, Sandy asks, "did tonight accomplish what you hoped it would?"
(if the player doesn't show you can still download the file here.)



Talking to Senator Jean Leising, Sandy asks, "what are you able to offer..."
(if the player doesn't show you can still download the file here.)

Poll results taken from the Greensburg Daily News asking the question....
"Do you, as a community member, believe we need an expanded airport?"

This poll is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate. The results cannot be assumed to represent the opinions of Internet users in general, nor the public as a whole.
Yes 19.63%, No 80.37%, 107 votes counted.
The above is at 7:55 am on 10/5/09

Yes 18.80%, No 81.20%, 117 votes counted.
The above is at 8:55 am on 10/5/09

Yes 20.51%, No 79.49%, 156 votes counted.
The above is at 12:50 pm 10/5/09

Yes 19.20%, No 80.80%, 224 votes counted.
The above is at 8:40 am on 10/6/09.

Yes 18.93%, No 81.07%, 280 votes counted.
The above is at 4:50 pm on 10/6/09

Yes 21.90%, No 78.10%, 347 votes counted.
The above is at 9:50 am on 10/7/09

Yes 24.39%, No 75.61%, 369 votes counted.
The above is at 12:05 p.m. on 10/7/09

Yes 24.39%, No 75.61%, 369 votes counted.

Yes 24.17%, No 75.83%, 360 votes counted.
The above is at 10.25 a.m. on 10/7/09.

Yes 26.61%, No 73.39%, 387 votes counted.
The above is at 2:15 p.m. on 10/7/09.

Yes 21.62%, No 78.38%, 481 votes counted.
The above is at 3:50 p.m. on 10/7/09

Yes 20.55%, No 79.45%, 506 votes counted.
The above is at 4:55 pm on 10/7/09.

Yes 20.23%, No 79.77%, 514 votes counted.
The above is at 5:15 p.m. on 10/7/09

Yes 25.42%, No 74.58%, 598 votes counted.
The above is at 10:20 a.m. on 10/8/09.

Yes 28.80%, No 71.20%, 632 votes counted.
The above is at 12:00 noon on 10/8/09.

Yes 18.32%, No 81.68%, 1086 votes counted.
The above is at 4:30 pm on 10/8/09.

Yes 18.63%, No 81.37%, 1127 votes counted.
The above is at 8:35 a.m. on 10/9/09.
Yes 18.64%, No 81.36%, 1191 votes counted.
The above is at 1:25 pm on 10/9/09.

Yes 19.92%, No 80.08%, 1240 votes counted.
This is at 2:55 p.m. on 10/9/09.

Yes 19.68%, No 80.32%, 1321 votes counted.
This is at 8:30 a.m. on 10/10/09.

Yes 19.47%, No 80.53%, 1433 votes counted.
This is at 8:40 a.m. on 10/12/09.
Yes 19.94%, No 80.06%, 1444 votes counted.
This is at 10:45 a.m. on 10/12/09.

Yes 20.28%, No 79.72%, 1450 votes counted.
This is at 12:10 p.m. on 10/12/09.

It is 1:56 pm on 10/12/09 and the poll on the airport has now been taken down.

GDN coverage of "Move It or Lose It" meeting held October 7, 2009

Airport Expansion Opponents Gather To Say 'Move It Or Lose It' - Joe Hornaday - October 09, 2009 11:20 am
Organizers of the "Move It Or Lose It" group, a campaign devised in opposition to the current airport expansion proposal, gathered others to their cause this week.

At the garage of Dennis and Mary Dickman, about 30 protesters were able to express their concerns regarding the Greensburg Municipal Airport project, designed to enlarge the runway for more flights and bigger planes.

Long-time opponents of the plan Marc Haston and Jean Johannigman spearheaded the meeting, while airport neighbors, concerned citizens and guest State Sen. Jean Leising took part.

"The main thrust is for you to speak out on your feelings about this project," Johannigman said at the beginning of the meeting.

For Johannigman, much of the assembly was about coming together to object to the manner in which the expansion was being pursued.

"We do not want this airport at the current site," she added.

The group was split on the issue of whether a bigger airport was needed or if it should just be moved to a new location. According to Johannigman, the Airport Layout Plan (ALP) lists the airport at 32 acres. She claimed that if the project continued, ultimately, 254 acres would be required over a period of 20 years. Expansion at the current site, she said, was an unsafe choice, though the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the expansion project as a safe one.

The project has not been officially approved or funded, Johannigman told the crowd, and the voice of the taxpayers should not be ignored. She said she hoped for a referendum or that a second site would be seriously considered.

Johannigman explained that she was on one of the original committees at the beginning of the project, and questioned an alternate site even then. Johannigman and the others at the meeting expressed worry that the expansion project was already "a done deal."

Johannigman called on her fellow opposers to help navigate the political channels until everything can get the evaluation it deserves. Just because the funds are there does not mean an expanded airport is necessary, she claimed.

Marc Haston said he had been involved in fighting the project for about six years. He added that the project has simply grown too big and was now a "white elephant." Haston has been going to meetings of the Board of Aviation Commissioners (BOAC) for years, and said that the money from the FAA that will pay for the majority of the local project will come from funds that are designed to increase the safety of bigger airports. Haston said he felt the project might be on the fast track now, and acquiring more land could be the next step.

"We really need to get vocal with it," Haston said. "It's going to take an uproar, I'm afraid."

He noted that none of the airport's neighbors are willing to sell their land for the project. Haston claimed that there are people in the county willing to sell their land and that the project was not practical on either end. Haston referenced incidents at the ballpark in which players had to stop the games because the engines of the airplanes made so much noise. Haston said that any airport project that continues should be designed to affect as few people as possible.

"I just think it's the wrong place to place an airport," he said.

Phil Goddard, who has long been opposed to the plan, spoke up and said he believed the project was continuing simply because there was federal money available for it.

"The federal money is propelling the whole project," Goddard reiterated.

He referenced the building of Honda and Rural King in Greensburg, stating that they came without a bigger airport. For Goddard, the need for the expansion was simply not there.

Concerned neighbor Jerry AmRhein questioned the airport's ability to support itself, and openly wondered where the skydivers will land with an expanded runway. He felt the airport expansion was being sold as an economic development tool, but was poorly chosen because the area was strictly landlocked.

A Valeo employee spoke up and said the factory could not ship by air because it's just too expensive, attempting to poke holes in the idea that the expansion would benefit local industry. Resident Pam Robbins agreed, saying it costs the factories too much and was not a justifiable reason. Goddard reiterated that a regional airport would be unnecessary, and that the current process was based on speculation and the ability to use eminent domain.

"The abuse of (eminent domain) is contrary to the Constitution," Goddard said. "We're spending money like drunken sailors."

Dennis Brown, who spent 20 years on the city's Water Board, said he believed that engineering firms are the ones really making the decisions. Haston agreed, adding that he could not remember a BOAC meeting in six years where they did not cut a check to an engineering firm.

Jean Leising suggested that, if the group truly felt strongly enough about the issue, to potentially file a petition or remonstrance. She added that it was often good to get together and air frustrations in gatherings like the Move It Or Lose It group. She did warn the assembly that if they proceeded, it would be a tough legal process ahead of them. She also said legal counsel should be acquired. Johannigman noted she was glad to have Leising involved.

In all, seven property owners stand to lose land, Haston remarked. Pam Robbins said that the original airport layout would have taken her entire home, not just her front yard like it does now.

"I don't know what kind of lifestyle we'll have," Robbins said.

Haston sympathized with her.

"She's looking down the barrel of the runway," Haston said.

One issue the Move It Or Lose It group kept coming back to was the need for the expansion. Goddard explained his family had owned the land in Greensburg since 1850, but currently stand to lose 52 acres. If a crosswind runway was implemented, it could cost the whole farm, Goddard said.

There's no reason to bring that to an end," he added.

At the end of the meeting, it seemed like a remonstrance was on the agenda for Move It Or Lose It.

"We can all become foot soldiers. This needs to be changed and I think we all know it," Johannigman said.

The Move It Or Lose It movement can be found on the Web at www.greensburgairport.com. On the site, contact info for state and federal representatives is available.

"It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error."
Justice Robert Houghwout

Marc Haston - mfhaston@etczone.com - 812.593.1492 - © www.greensburgairport.com - All rights reserved.