2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 5 Dec 2002 22:13:43 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Spiking Land Giveaway Best for Tinker
Spiking Land Giveaway Best for Tinker

RESCINDING the proposed land giveaway near Tinker Air Force is best for all parties. A legal opinion essentially nixed the idea, and the county commissioners, red-faced over two months' worth of controversy, vow to drop it. It's a wise move.

The commissioners wanted to give 28 acres near SE 29 and Sooner to Del City, over protests led by former Tinker commander Richard Burpee who warned of possible repercussions from the Pentagon. The land in question is in a so-called "accident potential zone" under the flight path of a Tinker runway, and the Air Force frowns on development in such areas.

We think Burpee, now president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, won the battle in the court of public opinion. He and his allies made a strong case that any kind of development on the property, even if ruled legal, would place Tinker in a precarious spot when another discussion of military base closures begins in 2005.

An opinion issued Tuesday by the district attorney's office said the proposed giveaway violated the purpose of a 1973 bond issue used to buy the land. So Burpee and Co. prevailed in the legal arena as well.

Del City officials seemed earnest in their plans to use the property in question for development that would dovetail with Tinker's mission. They also were rightly puzzled at why Midwest City was able to open an industrial park across the street more than a decade ago without near the fuss that had ensued this fall.

Truth is, the Midwest City park wasn't on county property, and it came to life before the federal government became serious about closing military bases. Tinker escaped the initial closures in the mid-1990s, but its fate could be in play again in two or three years.

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