OWLS HEAD — The Owls Head Selectboard sent a revised inter-local agreement to the Knox County Commissioners over how to deal with potential future growth at the airport.

The Board voted Monday, March 21, to send off the new proposed agreement developed by an-hoc airport advisory committee and then sent to the Owls Head Airport Committee.

Knox County Administrator Andrew Hart attended the March 21 meeting at the Owls Head town office and asked if the town submitted it to the town attorney for a review. Selectboard members said they had no interest in doing that yet. Board member Linda Post noted she did not want the town spending money, such as Rockport has had to spend concerning the downtown hotel.

Board Chair Gordon Page noted the town spent a lot on developing the initial proposed inter-local agreement.

That proposal was rejected by Owls Head voted on June 1, 2021, by a 124-14 tally. Opponents claimed that 2021 proposal would have taken away rights the town had with the prior agreement.

Hart said March 21 he expects the commissioners could review it and ready for a discussion in about a month.

Post questioned the town’s airport committee members about a clause that would prohibit jets from being stored in hangars in the report.

Ken Wexler, who serves on the town airport committee, said the aim is to prevent a new charter company from coming to the airport and flying jets.

“Traffic and noise, that is our concerns,” Wexler said.

Airport Manager Jeremy Shaw said in a March 18 email to the Courier, in response for comment on the proposed agreement, stated:

“The Interlocal Agreement with Owls Head has come a long way from where it began, but as written, still conflicts with pre-existing contractual obligations the County has with the FAA. Certain language within the document asks the County to assert control over things it has no control over, such as the intensity of ‘day to day operations,’ character and activity, or face repercussions. The agreement also dictates that the County ‘shall comply’ with ‘local’ airport operating laws, greenhouse emissions goals, and ‘shall ensure’ that operations and modification conform to all standards that the Town may set, while also banning the storage of jets, forever, in buildings constructed after an unknown date in 2022,” Shaw said.

The airport manager concluded, “Although the agreement is between the Knox County Commission and the Town of Owls Head, as read from my desk as the Manager, this agreement as written would potentially limit the airport’s ability to conduct its regular business. The Town could set a greenhouse gas emission level of zero, and the airport would have to cease all operations. The airport is too valuable of an asset to the entire Knox County community to put at risk its operational and financial stability by gambling on an agreement that is entirely one sided.”