ROCKLAND — The Knox County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to buy a nearly 2-acre parcel owned by the Owls Head Transportation Museum.

The county voted 3-0 at its Oct. 11 meeting to pay $750,000 for the parcel at 32 Benner Lane. The property is 1.7 acres and has three buildings that contain a total of six hangars. There are two spots on the parcel for the county to build a hangar, Airport Manager Jeremy Shaw said at a meeting last month.

The airport manager pointed out last month to commissioners that the parcel is within the airport fence perimeter. In addition, the county is selling a different 2-acre parcel to the town which consists of a cemetery now leased to the town. This means the total acreage of the airport will not increase overall and will stay within the current fence perimeter.

The Commissioners postponed a vote last month in the face of opposition from a member of the town’s airport advisory committee.

The property is currently exempt from the property tax because it is owned by a non-profit museum. When the county acquires it and sells the hangars, the town will get property taxes. Plus the excise tax can be anywhere from $100 to $78,000 a year depending on the aircraft stored in the hangar.

The county will receive a steady revenue stream from leasing the land to the hangar owners, Shaw told commissioners last month. The county receives about $2,500 per year for an 80-foot-by-80-foot hangar.

The transportation museum will use the proceeds of the sale for an expansion project of its educational purposes, Meriwether noted. The museum is undertaking a $9.75 million capital campaign to build a community education center on its property, according to its website.

In other action at the Commissioners’ meeting, the Board voted to approve awarding the contract for construction of the second phase of a taxi lane at the airport to Sitewerx, Inc. of Carmel for $1,687,475.

Work on this second phase of the newly constructed taxi lane will begin in November.

“The County has worked diligently to acquire the required Federal, State and Local approvals and permits to build this second phase of the long-planned hangar taxilane. The taxilane is in previously developed areas of the Airport and will provide an area of private hangar space similar to the facility located on Dublin Road,” a press release from the county stated after the meeting.

This redeveloped facility will add space for 15 additional hangars for aircraft that, for the most part, already call the Knox County Regional Airport home, according to Airport Manager Jeremy Shaw.

“The planned additional hangars do not provide accommodations for aircraft larger than are already being used at the Airport, and also would not encourage larger aircraft to visit Knox County due to the length, width, and weight limitation of the airport’s runways,” the manager stated.

The first phase of the Taxilane project is complete, and is generating revenue for both the County and the Town of Owls Head through leases, excise tax, and property tax paid to the Town, he said.

“The Maine coast is a popular tourist destination with tourism providing more than 100,000 jobs and $10 billion in revenue. The Knox County Regional Airport supports this vital industry and its affiliated businesses by employing more than 120 individuals across 19 separate businesses to support aviation and to welcome visitors to every single one of Knox County’s communities. The Knox County Airport is also a crucial life-line to the County’s Island communities who rely on life saving flights, parcels, mail, groceries and more,” Shaw concluded.