'For the people — Say what?'
Health issues aside, I did not bother to attend the recent meetings, especially the one where the mayor called a special meeting regarding the fate of the church on North Beach Street. I feel bad for those of you who gave of your time in good faith, for good causes.
But, I have learned over the past four years that there is no justice in this town. If you reflect back on the various issues that came forth to a City Commission vote, you will see that the commission (and their developer friends) won out every time — no matter what what the citizens presented, or how many showed up to the meetings. Do you remember: 1) New Britain Avenue; 2) Granada Pointe a) the Wawa, b) the car wash, c) the traffic light at Granada/Tomoka Ave, and d) do not forget the clear-cutting issue that preceded these three; 3) the floating dock; 4) the expensive palm trees on Granada Boulevard; 5) the infamous "OB Life" debacle.
Now, the demolition of the church to build a parking lot? I would wager that this lot will be primarily used by the restaurants (especially valet) around the corner on Granada Boulevard — certainly not for the immediate local residents (unless they are known to throw some humungous parties). Lest we forget the fact that the total cost of this eventual parking lot will be in excess of $1 million, taking into account the original cost of $729,000, "incidentals" during the interim, demolition and eventual construction of the slab.
As stated above, this dominance by your City Commission is nothing new. In fact, if you look back at the November 7, 2019 issue of the Ormond Beach Observer, you will note a similar theme in my Letter "Commission is the Root of the Problem."
We, the good guys of Ormond Beach, will just have to face facts — we live in a community dominated by a population of 5!
Larger aircraft and corporate jets
In regards to the city stating they will not allow larger planes: The Oct. 10, 2017 Observer reported, "In other airport developments, Mannarino said the extension of the east-west runway to 1,000 feet to allow larger planes is still in the plans."
Go to page 10 and 11 in the Environmental Assessment report. Look up the user needs, the aircraft models used and their size.
It is all about bringing in bigger aircraft and selling fuel. Page 8 of same report states: "With typical fuel capacities exceeding 800 gallons each and jet fuel burn between 140 and 225 gallons per flight hour the loss of future fuel sales revenue alone is significant. Just one hour flown by each of the 622 expected aircraft will require almost 100,000 gallons of jet fuel."
Page 4 of minutes from August 24, 2015 public meeting states:
"Mr. McDougal [of Hoyle,Tanner & Associates] stated that the heliport at the airport was designed for an aircraft that was 12,000 pounds and 48 feet long. He noted that something else could land there but that was what it was designed for. He explained that the same provision applied to the runway in that a larger aircraft could land on a “B-II” runway but noted that the pilot would have to be cautious, realize his risks and possibly need some ground handling guidance as he taxied in because the obstruction clearances would not be as wide as would be desired for a larger aircraft."
The following are a few statements from the Master Plan where it mentions "larger aircraft" at the airport.
- Page 5-3: "Airports with instrument approaches and longer runways tend to provide services to owners of larger and more complex aircraft, such as high performance multi engine airplanes."
- Page 5-5: "It is expected that continued economic development efforts may increase the demand for aeronautical services, particularly services associated with business jet aircraft. In addition, businesses providing aeronautical services such as aircraft maintenance have seen increased demand for services by operators of larger aircraft."
- page 6-13: "However, there is a latent demand from some airport users operating larger aircraft to extend runway 8/26 in order to reduce operational restriction or to allow 'larger general aviation aircraft' use of the airport."
Also, future operations are forecast to increase annually with or without an extension. Read and research, please.
Once it is done, don't waste your time looking back at what you've lost.