Charlotte City Council Votes 'No' On One Way To Expand
month, the Charlotte, MI city council considered proposals to
expand the Fitch H. Beach Airport's 3,500-feet runway to
5,000-feet. One of those proposals even considered relocating the
entire airport, to accommodate corporate jets.
At issue with that plan, though, was the potential use of
eminent domain -- the right to take private land for public use --
according to the Battle Creek Enquirer.
At a city council meeting Monday night, about 100 protestors
gathered at Charlotte City Hall, chanting, "Don't take our land"
and "No airport in the country" and waving signs. The group also
opposes the airport's expansion.
The Enquirer adds the airport issue wasn't even on the council
agenda for that particular meeting... but with 100 vocal protesters
in the audience, the matter found its way onto the roster.
Council member Dee Smith proposed a vote on the resolution. "I'm
putting it forward because it's the right thing to do," she said.
"Not because of pressure."
The proposed measure only applies to the use of eminent domain
if the airport is relocated, and does not apply to expansion. The
measure passed 4-3.
The consultants providing the feasibility study currently
underway have identified potential relocation sites in Eaton,
Walton and Carmel townships. The news report identifies the
protestors as being mostly from Eaton Township.
The Rev. Elle Desgrange of the Spiritual Episcopal Church in
Eaton Rapids, who coordinated the protest, said her church is one
of the potential relocation sites.
"That's our business. That's our livelihood," she said.