Cascade Locks Port plans airport meetings

At the Port of Cascade Locks’ July 19 meeting, the commission decided next steps in the discussion of the future of the community airport on Forest Lane.

Following the completion of the Airport Feasibility study last month and presentation of the consultants’ final report, both the Cascade Locks City Council and Port Commission discussed the next steps within the community for this effort, according to port manager Paul Koch.

The airport is within city limits but is owned by the State of Oregon. Options considered by the port include enhancing the airport, closing it and turning it into housing or commercial development, or making no changes.

“Discussions have generally been focused on some community meetings to share the report findings, educate the community and have long term discussions that would lead to greater use of the airport and meeting local community needs,” he said.

According to Koch, suggested “mixed or matched” strategies for achieving the council and commission goals for this study include the creation of a report summary providing the highlights for community information and education, and using the web page, mailings and other techniques to get the word out to the community.

In addition, the agencies will host community meetings on dates to be announced in September 2018 and early 2019.

Strategies will also include preparing a long range plan and use for the land to meet community needs, and desinging a “proposed” best possible use for the community to use as a talking piece at any meeting, Koch said.

He said this will entail looking at what use or uses would best meet the long range needs of the total community, such as buffer park space, an enhanced ball diamond, a helicopter landing area, housing, retail, industrial uses, small home development, an expanded and more useable airport, etc.

The port will also determine the conditions under which the port or city would take ownership of the airport, Koch said.

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