Six hangar owners currently leasing space at the airport have served notice of legal action to Kings County council.
“They have retained Randall Balcome of Waterbury Newton to represent them,” chief administrative officer Tom MacEwan said. TMC Law represents the county.
Under the terms of the Municipal Government Act, individuals or groups contemplating a legal challenge against a municipality must give 30 days’ notice of their intent to proceed.
The legal action is “only a contemplated litigation at this point,” MacEwan said. The county, through its solicitors, is closely monitoring the situation, he said.
While council has passed a motion to close the airport effective Sept. 30, hangar owners currently leasing space are not required to move on that date.
“The land Michelin is looking for to expand doesn’t contain any hangars. The motion was that the hangar owners could stay until they can move to a relocated airport, but that flights in and out of the airport would cease Sept. 30,” he said.
County believes Michelin will expand
Although Michelin has not yet announced an expansion to the Waterville plant, approximately 100 employees from the Granton plant will be moved to Waterville.
“They’ve told us they can’t expand on their own land as long as the airport is still there,” MacEwan said.
“Making the land available to them is a priority. The county is confident a strong case can be made for an expansion to the Waterville plant. It’s been both productive and efficient. Michelin has invested heavily in it, and is moving workers here from other areas.”