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Hailey Airport Expansion Discussions Heat Up

(AP) A Blaine County commissioner says he’s willing to use eminent domain to acquire land needed for a possible expansion of Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey. The memo from Commissioner Larry Schoen to airport Manager Rick Baird and obtained by the Idaho Mountain Express cites Schoen’s “willingness and preparedness” to use the government process of acquiring private land. Hailey City Councilman Fritz Haemmerle says it’s a rogue memo without authorization from the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority. Schoen says he was prompted to draft the memo after a representative of a landowner called him to ask that eminent domain be used because it could provide a tax advantage for the landowner. Authorities are considering expanding the central Idaho airport as a cheaper alternative to building a new airport farther south.

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