Press-Republican

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September 27, 2013

County seeks hotel development for airport

PLATTSBURGH — The way has been cleared for a possible hotel development on the former Alert Facility property at Plattsburgh International Airport.

“Ultimately, our hope is to enhance airport services, and that is a big chunk of land that we have available for development in a prime spot,” said Clinton County Legislature Chairman Jimmy Langley (R-Area 7, Peru).



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“A hotel there makes sense.”

DEMOLISHED

The 18-acre Alert Facility property sits just east of the airport terminal off Arizona Avenue.

When Plattsburgh Air Force Base was active (1955 to 1995), it housed crews of tankers and bombers who were ready to jump into their aircraft at a moment’s notice.

The antiquated structure featured long tubes, partially embedded in the ground, stretching from the main housing unit to the flight line.

Demolition of the structure proved costly, as large amounts of mold were discovered, as well as asbestos.

Deputy County Administrator Rodney Brown said it cost more than $2 million to remove the Alert Facility, which was paid for with federal funds.

“It wasn’t easy tearing that thing down,” Airport Committee Chairman Robert Heins (R-Area 10, City of Plattsburgh) said.

“But it has been our goal from day one to use that property to support the airport.”

RESTRICTION LIFTED

The legislature has been eyeing the property for development since the airport opened in 2007, but the Federal Aviation Administration required that land to be used for aviation purposes only.

The FAA recently lifted that requirement, much to the delight of county officials.

“That is a great location for us to pursue a hotel, and with the expansion of the terminal, it will be the perfect complement,” Heins said.

The airport has far exceeded expectations in terms of the number of passengers flying in and out, and legislators have decided to undertake a major expansion of the terminal.

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