Anti-OLFer debates benefit of bringing Navy field here

Published 8:34 am Saturday, October 31, 2009

To the Editor:

This is a reply to Mr. Jerry Flowers’ letter to the editor supporting an outlying landing field (“Argument made for bringing outlying landing field here, Saturday, Oct. 24). The impending closure of the Franklin mill definitely has dealt a fierce blow to our area. Bringing in an OLF would finish us off. Life as we know it would cease to exist. Century farms, our history, heritage and rural way of life would be gone.

We have learned over the last year that there is little or no economic benefit from an OLF. Taking 2,000 acres off the tax rolls for the core of the OLF makes the impact a negative. Then the remaining 28,000 surrounding acres will have a reduced value. In fact, it likely will reduce the values on all properties in the flight pattern.

The Navy has no line items (or funding) budgeted for any benefits to the OLF hosting counties. They have offered zero long-term financial benefits to any area.

Instead I’d like to suggest to Mr. Flowers that he use his vast business contacts to help bring light industry to our empty industrial parks created in recent years for just that purpose. With a business in Courtland, he should be more concerned about the economic welfare of our county.

If he doesn’t mind the noise the F-35’s will generate, he is in the minority of Virginia Beach residents.

Oceana is not compatible with the F-35’s because it is too small, as well as its encroachment and the encroachment around Fentress. My guess is that the Navy will realize it needs to find another Master Jet Base for that very reason.

Glenn and Lynda Updike