OLYMPIA - Mill Creek Rep. Dave Schmidt introduced legislation last Friday to begin the process of bringing commercial air traffic to Paine Field in Snohomish County.
Such talks have been in the works for a couple of years, said Schmidt. He said the former U.S. Air Force base, which was given to Snohomish County in the 1970's, could become an attractive alternative to travelers north of Seattle.
"We have one airport-SeaTac-serving close to five million people," said Schmidt. "For travelers in Snohomish County and the surrounding region, driving south through Seattle is the most unpredictable and least attractive aspect of their journey. It's not uncommon folks to leave three hours before their flight and still be an hour late, or an hour early.
"We're here to put ourselves on the map for Seattle's tourism dollars," Schmidt continued. "It's time some of that money floats north to Snohomish County."
The bill Schmidt is proposing would allocate $100,000 in state money for a feasibility study on a new, $20 million terminal at Paine Field.
"I think it's only right for the state to put a small, initial investment because the state is going to reap tremendous rewards," he said.
Planning meetings for two reunions set for Tuesday
The Sunnyside High School classes of 1964 and '69 will hold reunion planning meetings next Tuesday, Feb. 3.
Alice Aguirre said those from the class of '64 interested in planning for the 40-year reunion should plan on attending a 7 p.m. meeting at Snipes Mountain Restaurant.
The 35-year reunion planning meeting for the SHS class of '69 will be held at El Valle Restaurant, also beginning at 7 p.m.