Update submitted on 6/12/2017
“As the Mosquito Turns”
The truth about the Lee County Mosquito Control District (LCMCD) buying Woodstock Field.
RUMOR - LCMCD is a private company.
TRUTH - No, the LCMCD is a government (municipal) entity.
See your tax bill.They are a special taxing district just like the SWFL Water Management and the Lee County School District.
RUMOR - They are going to fly their airplanes in and out of the Woodstock Airstrip.
TRUTH - No. A few reasons are...
a. The runway is way too short and cannot be lengthened as the land on the East is 20/20 Conservation Land and the land to the West crosses a road and has houses on it. We really looked into this when we bought the airport 20+ years ago and it is impossible.
b. The runway is too narrow with a lake on one side. The wheels and wings of the DC-3s they use are wider than the runway!
c. It is a grass runway. Flying turbine engines off a grass runway is not only foolish, but expensive, as the grass, bugs and sand that gets sucked into the engines destroys them. Even paving the entire 2700 feet won’t work, because turbine aircraft accelerate slowly and the runway is too short.
HUMOR - They could however launch rockets from the runway as they go straight up, and if they ever get the anti-mosquito cruise missiles working…
RUMOR - They are zoning the airport CF for Commercial Facility.
TRUTH - No. CF is the abbreviation for COMMUNITY FACILITY.
The LCMCD would prefer to keep the land AG similar to their facility in Buckingham. The Zoning Administration of Lee County wants them to change it.
RUMOR - They are going to build huge buildings.
TRUTH - No. One of the reasons they are buying the property is because it has the buildings they need. If they want to build anything else they will need to get a DO (Development Order) since they are a municipal organization. This would mean another Public Hearing would be required.
RUMOR - They are buying 39 acres to develop.
TRUTH - No. They are purchasing 32 acres. The reason they want all the land is for a BUFFER so that they don’t bother anyone. The same reason we bought all the land years ago. Also, of the 32 acres – 10 is runway. 5 are roads or swales, 8 are wetland/swamp, 2 is house and hanger and the rest are lakes.
RUMOR - They are going to put street lights on Woodstock and pave it.
TRUTH - No. LCMCD cannot do-improvements other people’s property, as Woodstock Road is privately owned.
HUMOR - The Announcement by the Save the Mosquitoes Group on Pine Island that you can use mosquito bites to puff your lips instead of silicon injections! Not True – the swelling wears off too fast.
NBC-2 News Plans Underway For New Mosquito Control Station on Pine Island
Submitted on 5/12/2017
The rumors have been flying on the sale of Woodstock Airport to the Mosquito Control District (LCMCD) This is what is actually happening. The LCMCD is purchasing Woodstock Field and surrounding property from us and will be using it to fly the SAME HELICOPTERS out of it that they currently fly out of the property in the industrial park on Pine Island. The difference is that they will no longer have to fly the helicopters from Buckingham which is a HUGE saving in our tax dollars. 90% of the spraying they do is within 10 miles of the Woodstock Airport.
THERE IS NO COMMERCIAL AIRPORT GOING TO HAPPEN. They cannot do that due to the LDC (Land Development Code). To do that would require changing the Land Development Code (which is practically impossible). There will be a Public Hearing on Pine Island coming up soon where the LCMCD will be able to answer any and all questions you may have. This is required as they have to get a permit change from the current wording of the airport permit which restricts airfield specifically to my company and guests.
ONLY LCMCD HELICOPTERS will be operating out of the field. LCMCD will continue to operate the same way we operate our airplanes. Take off to the East and land from the East. In the 21 years we have operated our planes we have flown in from the West (over Woodstock Road) 4 times in cases of unusually strong winds. Helicopters do not have that issue and they don’t spray in strong winds. The noise level will actually go down as they will be operating completely from the East end of the field whereas our airplanes have to start its take off run from the West end of the field.
There will NOT, I REPEAT NOT, be an “air bus”, no EMS base, no flying or parachuting school, no airline service, no FBI flights, no DEA flights, no space shuttle launches, no alien landings, and the airfield will not be open to non-LCMCD traffic – which means no tourists!. Just the same air traffic over the island as there is now. The big spray planes from the LCMCD do not fit into Woodstock Field as it is a grass runway and way too short with no way to lengthen it.
Commercial planes do not land on REALLY short grass strips. The biggest plane ever to fly out of Woodstock Field was my 6 passenger Pacific Tradewind which I sold because the strip is too short to take off loaded with more than the pilot.
In fact, traffic on Woodstock Road will go down when we sell the airport as the palm nursery, and fish farm, we run will shut down, and my 4 children and friends will no longer generate traffic, noise and loud music. We will be moving from our house at the East end of the Airport to live in a house on the North West end of the airport (without the kids, yeah!). We will continue to live next to Woodstock Field and would not be doing this if we were concerned about noise, property values or our peace and quiet. We are Pine Island Residents too. I don’t expect to even hear the helicopters take off from my house.
The biggest change will be – less mosquitos! Watch out for rumors started by the “Save The Mosquitos Team”.
If you have a questions you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, OR contact the Mosquito Control District – Carmen McKinney at (239) 694-2174 (email: McKinney@lcmcd.org)
Frank & Ila Valcarcel
Owners, Woodstock Field