Airport Foes Begin Push for Alternative Use Plan

Anti-airport forces have begun a countywide campaign to promote the Millennium Plan, which seeks to place a park, homes, office space, a museum and a university at the 4,700-acre El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.

Over the next two months, the El Toro Reuse Planning Authority plans to put signs stating, "The Dawn of a New Era for Orange County: The Millennium Plan," on 10 buses throughout the county. The signs will include a toll-free number for residents to call with questions and comments.

Though the bus signs are expected to cost $30,000, the entire campaign--which will include print and cable television advertising, bus shelter ads and multimedia presentations explaining the details of the Millennium Plan--could cost as much as $200,000. That money is part of the $1.2 million allocated by the ETRPA board for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The advertising is designed to build support for the Millennium Plan over the county's plan to build a commercial airport at the site. The Marines are scheduled to leave the base in July. County planners expect to complete the airport master plan by December 1999.

"We just want to get the word out," said Paul Eckles, executive director of the reuse authority.

"It's something we are intimately familiar with, but when we get out there, we find out that a lot of people don't know about the Millennium Plan."

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