Chandler voters reject runway extension - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Chandler voters reject runway extension

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Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 6:22 am | Updated: 6:55 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Chandler voters overwhelmingly approved all but one of 10 bond proposals Tuesday. Once again, they rejected a proposed airport expansion that would have included a longer runway.

“It was never going to happen, and I don’t know why I thought it was going to pass this time,” said John Walkup, an airport business owner who headed the campaign to promote a $65,000 bond proposal that would have cleared the way for a $2.4 million expansion at Chandler Municipal Airport.

The project would have lengthened the airport’s south runway from 4,850 feet to 5,700 feet and expanded the airport’s taxiways and plane storage facilities. Voters also opposed a runway extension in 2000.

An ordinance requires a runway extension to include voter-approved bonds. The council will have to do away with that law if it ever wants a longer runway, Walkup said Tuesday.

“Get rid of that damned ordinance, come up with something that’s safe, responsible for the city and get it done,” he said to bond supporters during an election night gathering at a Chandler restaurant.

Voters approved a $4.5 million museum bond that will be added to an $8.5 million bond issue passed in 2004 to build a 20,000- to 30,000-square-foot Chandler museum along the west side of Arizona Avenue just south of Boston Street. Officials have said skyrocketing construction costs increased the project’s price tag, making the latest bond necessary.

Museum backers said Tuesday they’ll start pushing the City Council to start the project to avoid future delays.

“The city has got to get off the dime and go build it,” said former Mayor Jim Patterson, who helped campaign for the museum bond.

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