December 3, 2008 Edition

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Alderman hopeful about plan

Walnut Ridge City Alderman Michael "Button" Wallin (clockwise from left) and Walnut Ridge Airport Commissioners Harry Hicks, Dan Coker, Hal Lady, Milton Smith, Frank Wilson, Ralph Joseph and (not pictured) Jack Allison study a proposal approved by the Federal Aviation Administration which would allow the Walnut Ridge Golf Club and the airport to coexist.
TD Photo ~ Gloria Wilkerson

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Airport Commission met Monday night at 5:30 at the Polar Freeze to discuss a plan submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration by Michael "Button" Wallin that would allow the airport and the Walnut Ridge Golf Club to co-exist with minimal changes.

"Where there's a will there's a way," Wallin said. "There has to be a way to do this. We just need to find it."

He and the airport commissioners are hoping he has found the solution.

Wallin is a city councilman, a member of the Walnut Ridge Country Club and a pilot. His plan has now been approved by the airport commission, as well as the FAA.

He will present the plan to members of the country club board this week, and if they accept his proposal, work on the needed changes can begin very soon.

The airport, the golf club and the City of Walnut Ridge have been dealing with an ongoing issue regarding the golf course's close proximity to the airport's safety zones.

"We're all neighbors and need to work this out as peacefully as possible," Wallin said. "We can have an airport and a golf course the whole community can be proud of if we work together."

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