Commissioners refuse to sign airport grant application

The Huron County commissioners ended all suspense Thursday and voted down the airport's federal grant application.
Scott Seitz2
Aug 3, 2012

The Huron County commissioners ended all suspense Thursday and voted down the airport's federal grant application.

The application needed the commissioners' approval and signature before it could be forwarded to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its consideration.

The vote to turn down the application was 3-0.

The commissioners also voted to send a four-page letter to Dennis Sokol, airport board president, and the airport board members explaining the reasons for their decision.

The grant could have brought about $232,000 in federal funds to the airport for improvements, including tree removal and drainage work.

See Friday's Norwalk Reflector for complete story.

Comments

JohnJ

Aug 07, 2012
02:00 PM
EXCELLENT POST

Ralph Wiggum says
By their own report the airport made $0 dollars on fuel sales in 2011 and since the airport doesn't charge a usage fee, the county made nothing. Let's add in the loss of property taxes, the county paying tax on land, insurance, loss of money earned on farm rental, deterioration of the office space and no rent, the cost for installation and maintenance of the fuel pump, electricity usage, water usage, people not paying for their hangar rentals, using the highway department's tractor to cut the grass, future cost to fix or replace the mower owned by the airport and the fuel it will burn, cost to plow the runways in the winter, money needed to fix the HVAC system and many other numerous expenses not listed. Not only does the county not make a dime but will actually lose money. Even if Bader closed the track and left the land stand vacant paying only his property taxes it would create more money then the airport being open for business 365 days a year since the county taxpayers will not be dumping thousands of dollars into Bader's property unlike the airport to get nothing but a financial loss in return. A facility that sold 17,000+ gallons of fuel and made $0 in profit a "positive economic impact"? Do you consider the county handing out welfare and unemployment checks as the same thing?

citizenof hc

Another rash of the same BS by JohnJ. Lots of specifics info here. Wait a minute, isn't this a COUNTY DEPARTMENT, and wait, it has some maintenance issues with old equipment?? Who could of thunk!!!. Any other county departments that have bills, or need equipment replaced over the years????. Anybody ever make any repairs over the years to any of the highway department's equipment or does everything work forever out there??. Are they run as a business out there at the hwy dept.?. Doesn't the crop land go up for bid under the county commissioner's sites, so I assume whatever they pay per acre is legal??? This is just more of the same BS by the same people, or person. It really is getting old. The airport facility provides a service to the community, just like the state & county roads. Call one business of the 89, say R&D Equipment and their employees in Norwalk, and tell them the airport hasn't brought in a dime to their business, or the community. You try so hard to turn the facts around to suit your momentary needs. Tough when the truth gets in the way. 89 businesses. Keep chewing on that JohnJ. I'm sure you'll come back with more BS spun a different way.

OH4THETAXPAYER

You all are NOT listening... YOU CANNOT SELL THE AIRPORT WITHOUT REPLACING IT DO you WANT TO SPEND MILLIONS OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS? That will take: 5-7 years for land negotiations and EPA STUDY ALONE. Listen very carefully...You HAVE TO REPLACE IT! The State of Ohio, FAA and the Taxpayers have money invested into the Airport now. To sell it you FIRST HAVE TO REPLACE IT! THAT will take at least 10years 5-7 for negotiations, 3 - 4 years to build it AND it has to be OPERATIONAL....before you can sell the old one! Any WHY would we do that when we have an airport now? BECAUSE SILCOX WANTS TO SELL IT TO HIS BUDDY - BADER....does anyone GET THIS FINALLY? The newspaper put out this "SURVEY" to create controversy....knowing full well they CANNOT SELL THE AIRPORT NO MATTER WHAT RALPH (carl essex) says!
Ralph Wiggum (Carl Essex) and Frankenfield were placed on the airport board to undermine the board and create so much controversy along with spend the boards money to prove "it doesn't support itself" (which is a lie) that everyone would be fed up with it. The newspaper is so naieve...they bought into it. Congrats editor...you are a sports guy...YOU want this as well...because YOU want that "FLAT TRACK" pipe dream of an excuse to sell the property to him at taxpayer expense...LOOK at his past employment record? Do you really think Bader will all of a sudden "hope and change" into someone who actually employs people for a real salary as opposed to "donating" to their favorite charity? You CANNOT SELL THE AIRPORT SO WHY ASK SUCH A STUPID QUESTION?

AnAmerican

relax before you blow a vein. Compromises and negotiations take place all the time, contracts can change or become void for various reasons. Regardless of what you've been told, the FAA does work with government officials and makes concessions and compromises as needed. (example: The FAA is not interested in getting a check back,” FAA program manager Alex Erskine said when asked about whether selling the land or relocating the airport could be feasible).

There are dozens of variations to get rid of the airport for the expansion of Summit: Sell it and perhaps pay a fine, dont sell it but close operations, move it, etc. Even if fines are levied the revenue expansion would bring would more than cover it.

Windy

There are dozens of variations to expand Summit: land on either side of Rte. 18, move it, etc. Bader just thinks he can get the airport land for next to nothing because he has three stooges and one crony living in his pocket. Jimmy Dimora was also under the delusion that he would never get caught in his dealings . . . . and look how that turned out!

AnAmerican

Are you calling Dennis Sokol the crony or are you comparing Sokol to Jimmy Dimora? :)

Windy

Here's the roster:

Silcox as Dopey

Bauer as Sleepy

Hintz as Grumpy

Bader as Whiny

And Starring . . .
Essex as the "Civil Disobedient" CRONY

Playing now at a meeting room near you!

lawtfcur

Carl, believe he is referring to you plane (pun) and simple. You were the politician who could never get elected. Have known you for years, and can say don't think anymore of you today then I did when you first moved here. You are keeping the posts going under how many surnames now?? You really need to go back and do the job you are paid for.

hcvoter53

No, I think they mean you Carl!! LOL

Athena

Well then let the discussions begin. Let the commissioners vote to close and I will guarantee you that the FAA will be down on them just like they did to the Lorain County commissioners who tried to close their airport in 2010. Look where that ended up. Lorain County has now taken additional FAA grants for at least the last two years.

iamrevolutionary

I believe maybe we can use Willard or Wakeman airstrips and improve those, if needed... Still in Huron County I believe. Why would we have to start from scratch? As said before, compromises are made all the time.

propman

Willard is landlocked so cannot be lengthened to match Huron county airport's length. Leaving it too short for business jets. Wakeman is in poor condition according to the FAA so needs improvement to bring it up to the condition of Huron. But it is also too short though has room to expand. BUT BOTH ARE NOT CENTRALLY LOCATED REDUCING THEIR POTENTIAL ADVANTAGES TO BUSINESSES.

Windy

What part of "NO" don't you understand? The FAA has stated to the commissioners IN PERSON that they will NOT allow the airport to be sold. The commissioners' own 2011 Clark and Winestock Report (which wasted $7500 of taxpayer money) ALSO told them that. Are you waiting for the three stooges to waste HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS more tax dollars in court and legal fees only to be told the EXACT SAME THING AGAIN? Because Silcox and Bauer both put their signature on the 2007 FAA grant to purchase land for the airport, they have tied the hands of the taxpayers FOREVER!

iamrevolutionary

I believe maybe we can use Willard or Wakeman airstrips and improve those, if needed... Still in Huron County I believe. Why would we have to start from scratch? As said before, compromises are made all the time.

AlterEgo

Here is an example of an airport that was closed after more than 9 years of negotiating with the FAA. Even then it was closed without approvals. And with no FAA grant obligations outstanding the City of Chicago was fined 33,000 and required to pay 1 million dollars to the FAA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mei...

You are right, the FAA does not want a check back, they want an airport in Huron County, and if there isn't an airport in Huron County the Commissioners will pay back every penny they have ever received in grants over the last 20 years, as there are more going back than just the one in 2007.

propman

Do you think the commissioners have the political clout of Mayor Daley? He sent in bulldozers at midnight and had the runway torn up. That stranded many aircraft the were parked there including several muti-million dollar business jets. I'm sure Chicago is still in court over the cost of getting the planes out. Mayor Daley wanted the area for a park and hotel he had interest in. It was nothing more then a LAND GRAB by Daley.

Windy

Hmmm . . . this sounds a bit familiar . . . different city . . . same kind of ignorant politician.

AlterEgo

Sorry, my point was that they were working on closing it for 9 years before Daley went and destroyed the runways in the middle of the night. The Huron County Commisioners do not have the the financial and legal resources to do what Daley did so if anyone think the commisisoner will be able to get rid of this airport in a dozen years they are flat out dillusional.

propman

And my point is that it is a land grab that has personal gain behind it.

monroe379

Everybody seems to be talking about Essex. Is he the guy that hadn't paid his property taxes for 3 years, before this election year, and he was put on the airport board recently by the 3 commissioners?? Sure sounds like a crooked operation to me. No wonder the airport continues to make the news with people like him appointed by our representatives. Sure appears we need a change in local representatives.

hcvoter53

What about the $500,000 the 3 Commisioners are seating on to destroy the Court House

hcfarmerbh

I find it most interesting in this blog, that the commissioners had their own agenda in refusing the grant money, STUPID MOVE on their part (they're all in someone's pack pocket - in this case Bader), You have a a few that slam the airport for giving some fuel discounts to draw in business, but then turn around,condone, and even justify Carl Essex refusing to pay his property taxes for 2-3 years, depriving trhe county of needed revenue. What a crock and they think the readers are going to buy his Bullsh** . On top of that, his backers (our 3 commissioners) put him on the county airport board to do nothing more than cause trouble. He's a county employee, on a public board, pointing fingers at everybody else except himself. The airport is a valuable county asset to the farm community. Too bad we have one or two bad apples in the operation. The farmers of this county need to vote both Silcox and Bauer, yes Bauer out of office in November and elect new commissioners. Maybe I won't have to read anything more about Essex's opinions after that.

AnAmerican

Mr. Essex was put on the board to hold members accountable for their lack of proper management and personal use of a county facility. You all would have a problem no matter who they appointed. Threats, intimidations and accusations have been made to divert attention. No one has been able to know exactly what has been going on out there.

It is clear some people are obtaining personal gains from this COUNTY facility. Having a new board member break up a good old boy system is exactly what was needed.

It is widely known that some airport members may have been using prepaid charge cards that are not actually prepaid and have the HURON COUNTY name. It is things like this as well as unauthorized camping/facility use and not immediately reporting an accident that need to be checked out. Having a board member hold the board or members accountable isn't such a bad idea.

Windy

AnAmerican - Your rhetoric is getting old. The FAA requires the PILOT to report an accident to the FAA within 30 days. THAT'S IT! Was last month's motorcycle accident at the racetrack reported to the FAA? That racer went past the sand pit and onto AIRPORT property.

AnAmerican

You wouldn't happen to have a COUNTY prepaid fuel charge card would ya Windy?

Windy

Nope, I don't even have a plane. But, from what I've heard, it seems like those mystery cards work the same as paying taxes . . . except the people with those cards pay the county what they owe.

AnAmerican

What if we all wanted a fuel card? We should all be able to fill up at our local station using a Huron County PREPAID card that actually isn't paid for until AFTER the fact. Doesn't sound quite legal or ethical or fair does it? How come a few rich guys can fill up their little planes with a COUNTY charge card and nobody seems to be able to answer the question? That alone should be enough to shut this joke down.

propman

LEGAL, ETHICAL???? And you'd turn a blind eye to the fact that Essex failed to pay his taxes for almost three years on a property that he rented office space to a COMMISSIONER??????
After that you actually expect anyone here with a brain to listen to you! What a joke, keep them laughing.

AnAmerican

Again, apples and oranges. Try not to blow a vein, you people sure get emotional and upset when it comes to the taxpayers stepping inside your own little playground. Disputing taxes is a bit different than the possible use of taxpayer charge cards that are prepaid but not actually prepaid, which could be illegal. I suppose eventually the legality will be determined.

Windy

While the authorities are investigating the alleged cards, they can investigate the alleged graft occurring in the Huron County Commissioners' office.

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