Navy to condemn Goliad Airpark

Oct. 2, 2010 at 5:02 a.m.

GOLIAD - The Navy will acquire the Goliad Airpark through eminent domain after the Goliad County Commissioner's Court repeatedly rejected the Navy's offer to purchase the property.

The Navy's latest offer of $2.3 million was set to expire Tuesday. The court opted on Monday to not take action on the issue, having already voted it down in April.

The court also rescinded a previously accepted offer by the Navy to purchase the airpark in September of 2008 for $675,000.

"We're disappointed that the county commission voted to reject our purchase offers that were made in April and September," said Commander Navy Region Southeast Rear Admiral Tim Alexander in a news release. "However, the Navy still has a mission to perform and we remain committed to being good neighbors."

The Navy sold the property to the county in 2000 for $1, after it closed of the airfield in 1991. It's currently operating out of Corpus Christi.

Many community members in Goliad have spoken out against the Navy's proposals - expressing concern over noise and pollution issues, as well as the lack of jobs the purchase would create.

An airpark advisory board, which was formed to look into possible airpark uses, unanimously recommended the court vote down the Navy's offer.

The chair of the advisory board, Steve Lott, compared the Navy moving their operations for Corpus Christi to Goliad to being Corpus Christi's "litterbox."

"It makes me physically ill to think Corpus Christi could come up here and decimate our community," Lott said.

Lott said Saturday he hopes to attract more political attention to the condemnation of the airpark.

After Monday's court, commissioner Jim Kreneck said he anticipated the Navy would move to condemn the property.

He told Navy representatives the county wouldn't back down if it came to condemnation.

"We're going to put up a fight. We're going to seek legal counsel and see what we can do," Kreneck said after hearing of the condemnation Friday.

The Navy intends to use the airfield for flight training beginning in 2012, according to the news release.



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