Coalition withdraws from third-runway fight

Mirror staff

The Airport Communities Coalition (ACC) voted Aug. 17 to withdraw all litigation against the Port of Seattle related to its third-runway project at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

According to coalition chairman Bob Sheckler, who also is mayor of Des Moines, the coalition will work with the airport on “issues of mutual concern, in particular economic development, transportation and improving our communication and cooperation regarding environmental issues.”

He said coalition members are looking forward to moving toward “a more collaborative relationship” with the port.

Federal Way City Councilwoman Linda Kochmar, the city’s coalition representative, said it isn’t clear how the ACC plans to re-form and what its new goals will be. “At this point, it hasn’t been discussed,” she said.

How the decision will affect Federal Way, a dues-paying member of the coalition, also remains to be seen. “The group hasn’t decided anything yet,” Kochmar said. “I have nothing to take back yet.”

Still, she said she’ll recommend against the city allocating any more of the budget toward ACC dues.

Federal Way has been a member of the ACC since 1994. Dues have ranged from $10,000 to $100,000 annually, depending on the scope of work the coalition intended to pursue that year. The city paid $10,000 this year and $30,000 last year.

As coalition members decide what direction to go, Kochmar suggested state and local governments start some discussion on whether to build a second regional airport — a project she said is sorely needed.

“If Sea-Tac is ever down, because of terrorists or an earthquake or any reason whatsoever, we need a second regional airport,” she said. “It’s just good planning.”

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