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Deer force Lost Nation Airport to put up fence

Posted at 4:55 PM, Jul 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-20 17:56:58-04

Lost Nation Airport has grown significantly over the past few years. 

There are now 89 aircraft based at the airport and more jets flying in. Many were introduced to the small Lake County airport, that relieves Cleveland Hopkins, during the World Series, NBA Finals and 2016 RNC.

According to airport manager Patty Fulop they're in the process of finishing their master plan now. 

Related Link: View a PDF of the airport's Master Plan here.

But, as they continue to grow, one of their new plans is not sitting well with the airport's longtime neighbors: a plan for a new fence. 

"I enjoy the airport, but I would not enjoy a silver fence that's 10 feet high with three feet of barbed wire on top," said Jim Wawrzyniak, a longtime resident.

"Barbed wire on the top? It's like you'd be at a prison," added Pam Deka, another longtime resident.

Wawrzyniak and Deka both have the fence in their backyards. 

The final plans call for a brand new fence around the entire border, for safety. 

"The fence is a wildlife fence," Lost Nation Airport Manager Patty Fulop explained. 

Deer are making this growing airport dangerous. 

"The goal is to get that ten-foot fence all the way around to eliminate the deer population," Fulop added. 

The deer are hopping the current fence, which is six feet in some places. 

"I had a jet pilot tell me a story just recently that he was on the runway and he normally takes off at about 80 knots. At 80 knots he had to make a life-or-death decision. A deer ran out into the runway. Do I pull the plane up quickly or do I hit the deer and possibly kill my passengers?" Fulop said. 

So, the fence makes sense.

But News 5 took residents' concerns to Fulop.

She was happy to report to News 5 they're already addressing those concerns and have been. 

"So what we have talked to them about, and we will get the approval from the FAA, we will eliminate the barbed wire. We're gonna color it, darken it so it will blend in and camouflage it a little bit more and I believe that will be very pleasing," Fulop said. 

And, she said, they plan to move forward with their growth with their neighbors in mind. 

"We want to make sure this is benefiting everybody - the community, the businesses and the residents," Fulop said.

The City of Mentor just approved a 10-foot chain link, black-coated fence with no barbed wire. We will follow-up and see what the FAA says about that plan. 

Patty Fulop told News 5 any residents with any concerns can reach out to her anytime. 

Airport Master Plan on Scribd