Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Resident questions town on inappropriate airport FAA funding support

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    8,867

    Resident questions town on inappropriate airport FAA funding support

    Since the early 90’s, when the FAA designated Lancaster Airport would become a reliever airport for the Greater Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, the FAA has funded over $10 million to help expand and improve the Lancaster airport.

    The airport project has been in limbo the last few years because of a legal challenge brought against the town by the Safe Aviation Coalition of Lancaster (SACL). At a Zoning Board of Appeals public hearing held a few years ago, the SACL attorney contended:

    • The airport was a nonconforming use,

    • That more than 25% expansion has occurred at the airport,

    • That the aggrieved parties have not brought the aggravation on themselves because the airport existed. My response to that is that the airport that existed before 1989 was nowhere the size that it is today. Future expansion beyond what’s there now brings concerns that my clients did not bring about themselves,

    • That the aggrieved parties have standing in that they are more aggrieved that the general public due to the flight pattern and that they are getting the full brunt of the noise because of the altitude at that point of the flight pattern.

    Kevin Lemaster, SACL member, addressed the Lancaster Town on another sticking point. He has been in contact with the FAA questioning their decision to fund the airport project when in his opinion he had delivered enough documents to not only stop further expansion, but to question why the FAA granted funding in the first place. In the documents provided by Lemaster are also questionable land transactions – purchases and sales at reduced sale prices.

    Lemaster was told by the FAA that the Town of Lancaster held four public hearings, two at the Town Board level and two at the Planning Board and that the public had a right to speak and make their concerns known.

    Lemaster declared that the FAA had given him four dates on which public hearings were held. Two were to have taken place on September 18, 2006 and May 21 of 2007 at the Lancaster Town Hall. “There are no such records on file indicating these meetings (public hearings) took place. The FAA also informs me that two public hearings took place at the Planning Board. Are people even allowed to speak at a planning board meeting?”

    Council member Mark Aquino affirmed that the public was not allowed to speak at a planning board meeting.

    “The FAA is claiming that they received information from the town that on September 6, 2006 and in June 2007 public hearings were held by the planning board on the Lancaster Airport expansion project, declared Lemaster. Again, there are no records to indicate such public hearings took place at the planning board level, and where in Lancaster public vocal input is not allowed.”

    Lemaster added that Lancaster Airport Inc. has received millions of dollars in federal and state funding based on town public hearings that were never held. “I have so much documentation, going back and forth with the FAA, and am requesting an investigation by them. The town was given a lot of misinformation by the airport applicant and should be looking into this matter as well.”

    “And they (Lancaster Airport Inc.) are still looking for more grant money from the federal and state agencies as of February of last year. And the zoning issue is not going away as well.”

    Supervisor Fudoli interjected that he was not in office when the airport expansion process was taking place, but that he would meet with Lemaster privately and get up to speed on the matter and answer his questions on the public hearing dates.

    Lemaster declared that the reason he was before the board is that the FAA is saying that this town held open public hearings that he could never find documents that verified such hearings took place. He then told Supervisor Fudoli that he would present him with a copy of his latest correspondence that he was putting together for the FAA.

    “I would like this town board to be very leery about moving forward with anything the Lancaster Airport owner would request from them; in the near future or the far future,” said Lemaster. Lemaster was referring to further building permits being issued without the SACL provided information and right to legal challenge.

    “And you should note that the airport has not paid its taxes from last year,” Lemaster declared.

    Lemaster closed by stating that the FAA declares they are granting the funding based on the town’s support of the project and the fact that public hearings were held on the matter, when he fact they were not held and no public input was ever forthcoming on the project or process.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    6,675
    I will have to say, I am baffled at times and in reading this article I continue to struggle in reconciling with the decisions made both by the FAA and the town board who acted as the Lead Agency in this matter. The part I struggle with is the path they took to get what they wanted. By violating zoning laws and mismanagement of the rights of the residents at the tune of over 10 million dollars and non payment of taxes by the airport to a tune of over $63,000 and receiving 3 IDA's to benefit who? Hobbiest that don't even live here?

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    689
    Quote Originally Posted by shortstuff View Post
    I will have to say, I am baffled at times and in reading this article I continue to struggle in reconciling with the decisions made both by the FAA and the town board who acted as the Lead Agency in this matter. The part I struggle with is the path they took to get what they wanted. By violating zoning laws and mismanagement of the rights of the residents at the tune of over 10 million dollars and non payment of taxes by the airport to a tune of over $63,000 and receiving 3 IDA's to benefit who? Hobbiest that don't even live here?
    Shortstuff maybe you should stop in the local watering hole and ask the boy's (1) WHY (2) WHO is controlling it (3) which board member is in bed with the FAA or the OWNERS of the Airport.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lancaster, NY
    Posts
    1,713
    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye View Post
    Shortstuff maybe you should stop in the local watering hole and ask the boy's (1) WHY (2) WHO is controlling it (3) which board member is in bed with the FAA or the OWNERS of the Airport.
    I personally have a feeling that the airport owner has a connection with someone at the FAA. If not, it just proves that there are no "check's and balances" (what a surprise!) in the federal government system.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    6,675
    Quote Originally Posted by ichingtheory View Post
    I personally have a feeling that the airport owner has a connection with someone at the FAA. If not, it just proves that there are no "check's and balances" (what a surprise!) in the federal government system.
    That would appear to be the case, but it is only an "assumption" at best because of the way things have unfolded for this strip. Hawk you know the answer to your own questions, we know the "why" we know the "who" .............

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    8,867
    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye View Post
    Shortstuff maybe you should stop in the local watering hole and ask the boy's (1) WHY (2) WHO is controlling it (3) which board member is in bed with the FAA or the OWNERS of the Airport.
    Hey Hawk, I don't know how much you know about this project but I can tell you straight out that there are layers upon layers of deceit/lies/incorrect data, lack of due diligence by town/federal/state governments, and waste of millions of taxpayer monies for a project whose costs far outweigh any benefit to the community.

    You will get no straight answers from anyone on this fiasco because all the parties who were involved in the process share in the blame. There should be no more support from the town on further expansion - no more federal or state grant money issued either.

    This is another prime example of "the town creates the problem, the residents complain, the town blames the residents."

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lancaster, NY
    Posts
    1,713
    What bothers me more than anything regarding this situation is how many other private airports in this country are getting away with the same thing?

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    6,675
    What bothers me more (as well as what itch stated about the national outlook) is how the town board lied to the residents and continue to do so. I went and viewed some of the articles Lee wrote which are taken word for word from the members on the board regarding the Lancaster Airport. I'll list some.

    The most puzzling question throughout the process was~~who is the Lead Agency? Time and time the board members negated that answer by saying they were not the Lead Agency. The following stipulated that:

    Johanna Coleman "It depends on who is the Lead Agency , we don't know that???"

    Donna Stempniak, "We weren't involved, what was the SEQR for? (Are you kidding me, her name was all over it, and they do the SEQR's)

    Town Engineer Robert Harris, "When an evironmental assessment is done, the project sponsor is required to fill out Part I, information about the property and then the lead agency looks at Part II which is the one that questions whether there is or isn't significant impacts on Part I. It is my underestanding it was done by the FAA as the lead agency bercause the town wouldn't accept that." WELL THAT WAS A BLATANT NON-FACT!!!! The documents on the Significant Impact state that the TOWN is the Lead Agency.

    Ruffino uses double talk, " I thought you were talking about ......I thought you meant........there has been no change......."

    So the part that always pisses me off, is how the residents get lied to time and time again.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    234
    Quote Originally Posted by shortstuff View Post
    What bothers me more (as well as what itch stated about the national outlook) is how the town board lied to the residents and continue to do so. I went and viewed some of the articles Lee wrote which are taken word for word from the members on the board regarding the Lancaster Airport. I'll list some.

    The most puzzling question throughout the process was~~who is the Lead Agency? Time and time the board members negated that answer by saying they were not the Lead Agency. The following stipulated that:

    Johanna Coleman "It depends on who is the Lead Agency , we don't know that???"

    Donna Stempniak, "We weren't involved, what was the SEQR for? (Are you kidding me, her name was all over it, and they do the SEQR's)

    Town Engineer Robert Harris, "When an evironmental assessment is done, the project sponsor is required to fill out Part I, information about the property and then the lead agency looks at Part II which is the one that questions whether there is or isn't significant impacts on Part I. It is my underestanding it was done by the FAA as the lead agency bercause the town wouldn't accept that." WELL THAT WAS A BLATANT NON-FACT!!!! The documents on the Significant Impact state that the TOWN is the Lead Agency.

    Ruffino uses double talk, " I thought you were talking about ......I thought you meant........there has been no change......."

    So the part that always pisses me off, is how the residents get lied to time and time again.
    I agree with you shortstuff, not acting in the best interest of the residents, witholding key information from them, then lying to them on top of that is TOTALLY OUTRAGEOUS. Those that have been doing this need to be held accountable at election time....

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    11
    It seems to me that there is a lot of ignorance here, the first line in the first post outlines the entire reason that KBQR received additional funding. It is a RELIEF AIRPORT. What that means is the FAA wants to attract smaller aircraft such as general aviation out to these airports from the main airport in the region, this is done to enhance the safety and capacity of the main airport. KBUF has seen explosive growth over the last 15 years, which has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy. So the paltry 10 million spent is a small price to pay to enhance the safety of BOTH airports.

    But the people complaining in this thread seem to be the same people complaining in other threads about increased traffic over their houses. Houses you bought...NEAR AN AIRPORT. And now you are fabricating lies, spreading rumors, and making up your own laws or totally mis-interpreting other laws because you don't like the noise, from an airport that opened in 1969.

    I for one am looking forward to when the runway is 5500', then JETS can land there. hehehehe I can't wait.

  11. #11
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Buffalo, New York, United States
    Posts
    64,922
    KBUF has seen explosive growth over the last 15 years, which has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy. So the paltry 10 million spent is a small price to pay to enhance the safety of BOTH airports.
    How so?

    100,000,000's of millions? A plane lands and takes off at airport A or airport B. How is the money generated for the community by the Lancaster airport?

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    114
    You need to get your facts straight. The reliever aspect of secondary airports is for commercial transportation, IE-transporting passengers, not recreational flying. The FAA has recently been called out in handing out funding for these little airports. A while back 60 minutes did a piece about a airport similiar to Lancaster, located in rural Pennsylvania. I suggest you read what the law states in regards to grant monies providing improvements to airports such as Lancaster. I don't think you will see a 5,500 foot runway in the town of Lancaster in the future, paid by taxpayers by grant funding.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    6,675
    International is still and will continue to be underutilized. To state that they are "explosive" in growth is a bit over stating. I will admit that there is a slow growth but to emphasize the growth as being "explosive" is an exaggeration.

    Everyone has the knowledge of what a "Reliver" airport is and entails so to insult everyone's intellegence clearly demonstrates yours eMKay. To also insinuate that the aforementioned is fabrication of lies and rumors shows your lack of understanding and how the information is actually accurate backed up with documentation to provide proof. Also no one is making their own laws or mis-interpretation of other laws also.

    To use a frivolous scare tactic by stating the Jets are coming is childish at best.

    This is clearly my opinion only.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    6,675
    Quote Originally Posted by TTDeathInLan View Post
    You need to get your facts straight. The reliever aspect of secondary airports is for commercial transportation, IE-transporting passengers, not recreational flying. The FAA has recently been called out in handing out funding for these little airports. A while back 60 minutes did a piece about a airport similiar to Lancaster, located in rural Pennsylvania. I suggest you read what the law states in regards to grant monies providing improvements to airports such as Lancaster. I don't think you will see a 5,500 foot runway in the town of Lancaster in the future, paid by taxpayers by grant funding.
    I agree, there will never be an expansion to 5500 feet at this airport. The FAA is definitely putting the ties on the budget. What kind of economy do people think we are in anyways????

    JMO

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Lancaster Airport, he said, she said; Part II: Town involvement/resident input
    By speakup in forum Village of Lancaster and Town of Lancaster Politics
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: September 4th, 2009, 11:14 AM
  2. Resident questions Lancaster Town Board on airport SEQR; Part II: “Unlisted Action” /
    By speakup in forum Village of Lancaster and Town of Lancaster Politics
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: August 28th, 2009, 05:30 PM
  3. Resident questions Lancaster Town Board on Lancaster Airport SEQR; Part I
    By speakup in forum Village of Lancaster and Town of Lancaster Politics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: August 21st, 2009, 01:11 PM
  4. Resident questions Town Board on Sewer Authority vent code
    By speakup in forum Morning Breakfast - Breaking News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: May 26th, 2009, 10:40 AM
  5. Resident questions timing of Town Hall expansion
    By speakup in forum Village of Lancaster and Town of Lancaster Politics
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: May 6th, 2009, 01:30 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •