ML port mulls land sale at 17 and Randolph

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MOSES LAKE — The Port of Moses Lake is looking at the possibility of selling some land for development that could include at least one hotel.

Port officials are looking at subdividing 25 acres at the intersection of Route 17 and Randolph Road currently leased to the Washington National Guard and possibly selling roughly 11.5 acres north of Randolph Road for development, according to Milton Miller, the director of port facilities.

“It’s not contiguous to the airfield or our industrial area,” Miller told commissioners during a regular meeting on Monday.

While the land has not yet been subdivided and a plat submitted to Grant County, Miller showed possible plans for five subdivided parcels that included two hotels, two fast-food restaurants and a service station.

“It’s not broken up yet, but it has been appraised,” Miller said.

While the Port prefers to lease land for development, Miller said a sale of any subdivided land may be a better option. The five parcels proposed were appraised at around $1.5 million.

“We can chop it up any way we want,” Miller said.

Airport Director Rich Mueller told commissioners that a number of people who have come to do short-term work out at the port — often in flight testing — have wondered why there aren’t more places to stay on the north side of town.

“As we’ve grown, we’ve needed more hotel space,” Mueller said.

Mueller also told commissioners that work has begun on removing the $20 million project to remove the six-foot hump in the airport’s 13,500-foot-long main runway. The hump prevents planes at one end of the runway from seeing planes at the other end of the runway.

“They are ripping up asphalt and concrete as we speak,” Mueller told commissioners. “It’s fun to watch.”

Mueller said it should take about a month to tear up the concrete and asphalt in the main runway, which remains closed for the duration of the project. Pilots of Air Force transport planes and other large jets are currently using the Grant County International Airport’s 10,000-foot-long secondary runway, which crosses the main runway.

The project absolutely has to be completed by June 5, Mueller explained.

“No weather days will be added on,” he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com

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