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.



I do not know anyone on these blogs. Our family lives out in very rural Huron County. I express my opinion on few subjects on here. I couldn't tell you one commish from another, face to face. But I do vote EVERY election. I am an average homeowner that pays their taxes ON TIME every time. I am voicing my opinion on the people that want to take advantage of MY hard earned $$ to support THEIR leisure activities! I will NOT vote or support or subsidise your leisure activities!
And, Mr. Hcfarmland, don't you already get enough WELFARE from us?! Farm subsidies, crop ins, federal $$ now for our drought?! Oh, yeah, and get $$ for doing NOTHING with your land!! Plus ag. tax breaks.....Did I miss some?? Probably.... Know wth you are talking about before you start in on me....


Oh, and it is none of your da*n business why I am on at 3 am! Some folks get up and do chores...You ever hear of those? Fly boy? Guess not, or you wouldn't have time to work, fly, blog on here...... ymms!


Hey moron, I;ve worked on a farm all my life from sunup to sundown, day in and dayout but I am at least smart enough to know that the world just doesn't spin around you. The airport has just as much a purpose as the county, state, and interstatge road system you use, but guess in your little bubble it doesn't exit. i also know that most of the funding airports receive come from those flyboys, whether they be aerial applicators, businesses, recreational pilots, or aviation users, so if you haven't put into the sytem, the amount of money coming out of your pocket isn't enough to worry about. I'm sure the only things you care about are what you think you need, and use, and maybe that includes a dose of Billy's weekend exhaust fumes.


You call ME a moron!! LOL! I can at least spell words past the 3rd grade! You still haven't addressed the farm WELFARE that you all receive... You all are so used to having others pay your bills, that you just expect it now. Well, got news, we are done paying for your fun and livelihood! Pay your own way or fail on your own! Just like all the rest of us do!
I am just a lowly Huron County taxpayer, but I am sick and tired of all you "fat cats" and that includes commissioners, fighting over MY tax $$! I want my say, and I am saying it!


Aha, the re-direct tactic! You have GOT to be a politician. You ASSUME that the racetrack is so valuable to the county, but can you provide ACTUAL, DOCUMENTED PROOF how that ONE SEASONAL business brings in more money than those other EIGHTY-SIX (86) FULL-YEAR businesses COMBINED? Oh yes, Bader benefits from that airport being there, too! Our First Amendment rights may allow you freedom of speech, however one would hope that you had ALL OF THE FACTS before actually doing so. You know that old saying about when one assumes . . . . ?


And Windy can't show actual documented proof that the 86 businesses, most of which are not even local, bring in more money. He also cannot show that these businesses would not exist without the airport. Therefore he resorts to name calling and ridicule, hallmarks of a weak or false viewpoint.


roger - Since you have such a "strong and true" viewpoint, can you show that Huron County would not exist without the racetrack? If it closed, unemployment might go up to what . . . 9.2% from 9.1%? You all want airport supporters to prove their viewpoint with documented facts . . . well, the racetrack supporters should have to do the SAME. Until I see documented proof that Huron County would sink into the core of the Earth if/when Summit closes its doors and moves away to Never-Never Land, the racetrack's benefit to Huron County is only ASSUMED . . . and you know what they say about that!

Ralph Wiggum

"i also know that most of the funding airports receive come from those flyboys, whether they be aerial applicators, businesses, recreational pilots, or aviation users, so if you haven't put into the sytem, the amount of money coming out of your pocket isn't enough to worry about." Vast majority of funding comes from the commercial airline traveler and not the "flyboys" as they pay the least. The tax money wasted at airports like the one we have is burdened by the general public through ticket taxes, baggage taxes and frequent flyer miles taxes. Plus, the FAA gets a yearly budget gift of everyone's money from the feds after the collection of taxes even if they've never stepped foot on a plane or an airport in their lifetime.


So Ralph is all the money spent on any airport wasted? The "vast majority of funding" goes to those same airports. Here is a reminder for you.
For 2011; LAX got $32.9 million, LA GUARDIA over $24 million, RONALD REAGON $10.4 million, O'HARE $120 million, DETROIT $18 million, CLEVELAND HOPKINS over $26 million, CINCINNATI $17.44 million, PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL $33.97 million, TOLEDO EXPRESS $4.5 million, SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL $17.68 million, DENVER INTERNATIONAL $29.9 million (Denver was moved some 10 years ago which would still be darned new) and BOEING FIELD (Boeing Aircraft Corp's home field) got $8 million from the grant funds. How then does the large airports not get their share?


You don't know one commisisoners from another. Well then, you probably don't know that Bauer bought 2 picnic tables this spring for county employees and paid almost $1,000 of your tax money. Picnic tables go for about $165 for an 8 footer. I'll bet you didn't know tht Bauer has gvien, yes given almost 250,000 to 300,000 of your tax money each year to Ohio State for their ag programs, which is already funded by the US Dept of Agriculture. I'll bet you didn't know that the commissioners are sitting on a $500,000 loan they took out for the courthouse vestabule and I'll bet you didn't know they are waiting until after they get reelected to spend this money county tax payers told them not to spend. Now, how about Silcox - He has almost singlehandedly cut the Sheriff's budget so there is usually only 1 patrol officer on the road. The sheriff can't fund enough investigators to fight the drug trafficing and sale going on in your southern part of the county. The county is nearly bankrupt due to the mismanagement of the current 3 commissioners. We have a chance to get rid of 2 career politicians this November, that's Silcox and Bauer. All they want to do is pad their retirement. If we don't vote them out, this county will go down the tubes!!!


Sandusky Register Viewpoint, March 8, 2011: MOTORSPORTS PARK DESERVES SUPPORT

"Huron County Commissioners have made a wise move by slowly stepping back financial support for the Huron County Airport and stepping up their support of the airport’s neighbor, Summit Motorsports Park”.

“The airport has been long on promises but short on delivering much of any positive financial impact for more than 40 years…..”


Sandusky Register Viewpoint, April 3, 2011: NORWALK'S RACEWAY GETS SHAFT FROM FAA

“….it’s simply wrong the federal government would seek money from a successful private business to support an unsuccessful public project.”

“We hope commissioners continue staring down the FAA and make sure its representatives know that holding a local business hostage to maintain the financial sinkhole is not good business.”


Sandusky Register Viewpoint, July 17, 2012: SUMMIT DRAGWAY HELPS PUT ENTIRE REGION ON THE MAP

“Summit Motorsports Equipment NHRA Nationals drew upwards of 100,000 drag racing fans to Norwalk for the weekend following the July 4 holiday.”

"…..major player in the highly competitive motor sport arena and it is not done yet.”

“The county and the city of Norwalk should do everything possible to make that loyalty well-placed.”


Sandusky Register, Annie Zelm, August 21, 2011: STUDY: CARS RULE OVER PLANES

“County commissioners have a substantial case for selling the airport….”

“The FAA may consider a release from grant obligations on a case-by-case basis….”

"…..Its report concluded the economic development benefits of the raceway far exceed that of the airport…..”

…..”Bill Bader Jr. has estimated that an expansion would generate 187 full-time and part-time jobs, bringing the total to 616. He also expects the planned addition of a year-round hotel, restaurant and industrial park would create other opportunities.”


Sandusky Register, Annie Zelm, 9-28-2010: HURON COUNTY AIRPORT DISCUSSION TAKES OFF

"...the Huron County Airport and commissioners have accepted more than $1 million in federal funds for airport improvement over the years with the understanding it would stay put.

***** “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." *****


Sandusky Register, Annie Zelm, 8-21-11 (Online Article): FIRM: RACEWAY MORE VALUABLE THAN HURON COUNTY AIRPORT

"County commissioners have a substantial case for selling the airport, according to a consulting firm's report."

"The Huron County Development Council recently released a study it commissioned on the proposed expansion of Summit Motorsports Park, the owner of which wants to buy the airport's land."

"The development council, a private nonprofit funded by a combination of donations and taxpayer dollars, paid $7,500 for Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist group Clark & Weinstock to conduct the study."

"Its report concluded the economic development benefits of the raceway far exceed that of the airport, noting, "there can be no doubt but that the expansion of Summit into the Airport property would be highly beneficial economically to Huron and Erie counties and to the region in general."


Great! Name calling. Agendas to pursue for the few. Reflector put this to a vote here since many influenced the commisioners on the courthouse vestabule. On this subject regarding the airport. tax $$ too. The county gains more from the racetrack than the airport. You fellas fix the crooked letter on the North side of the sign? thanxs


What is nice is NTP5, and your opinion won't make any differnce so you can talk all you want about a sale that won't happen. You may gain from 10 days of smoke and exhaust, Bader certainly does, but the county gains when multiple businesses receive benefits throughout the entire year. When large corporations fly in to buy or sell their products, it affects all the employees of the business. I happen to be one of the full time employees of a local business who has about 40 employees. I know the execs for our company like using the airport, and lie its convenience to the plant. That is 40 full time employees, who live locally, pay taxes, buy products locally. If our execs say the airport is important to them, it is important to me and every other employee who works year round. I'm not against Bader but 10 days of his races compared to a real business, give me a break, and we'll keep the airport where it is.


No one, and I mean no one, will ever believe your rhetoric that this airport brings in even 1 one hundreth the revenue that Summit does. The majority of people in this county would never even notice or miss your boys club.

Time to accept your loss, grow some, and move on.


Reasonable, Get ready for a lot of attacks. You just stated exactly how the airport benefits the local area in a way that most people can understand and relate too.


Just show me all this money Summit brings in. Show me the money. I just keep seeing the TOYS at this seasonal business. You people bitch about the toys at the airport but what about the toys at the Racetrack?


Summit not financially valuable?

Try renting a Norwalk hotel room on the weekend. Check out the number of out-of-towners at the local restaurants. Watch 'em fill up their vehicles at the gas stations.

Go ahead, close Summit down, ship it off and watch Norwalk and Huron Co. continue to die economically.

With the kind of "small minded thinking" presented on these blogs, it's little wonder that college and HS graduates leave for better opportunities elsewhere as increasingly there ain't nothing here worthwhile to keep 'em.




I could ask you the same us the money that you bring Summit, call the Huron County Auditor, call the hotels and Wal-mart and uptown business owners, check the study. Over the years I would say millions of dollars, but I am not your secretary, find out yourself.


A short break from work. These are actually companies that have an impact on the local economy by bringing money, or product ALL YEAR LONG, not for just 3 weekends a year, and they use the airport. What is wrong is you are so blinded by your own BS, you won't even consider looking at the facts!!! Believe they are up to about 88 or 89 businesses now. If you recognize a local company, try to figure the number of full time employees they have and then put that against SMP's full time roster. If you were smart you would fight to keep both of these structures in palce, not just the one you like.

The list of companies that use the airport as of May 28, 2012:
1. Phillips Manufacturing, Shelby, OH;
2. J Crane Co., Covington, OH;
3. Gibbs Aero Spray Inc, Fremont, OH;
4. Enterprise Vehicle Rentals;
5. Aerial Farming Services, Seville, OH;
6. Epic Aviation, WA;
7. Royal Air Freight, Waterford, MI;
8. Vintage Aircraft Sales, Radnor, OH;
9. St Vincent’s Life Flight, Toledo, OH;
10. NewAir Sales & Leasing, Tiffin, OH;
11. Kalitta Racing, MI;
12. Hines Inc, Brownsburg, IN;
13. Eldor Industries, Toledo, OH;
14. TSM Aviation Inc, Lafayette, IN;
15. AB Plastics Inc, Milford, OH;
16. Wildwood Botanicals, Fairdealings, MO;
17. Capital Quest, Knoxville, TN;
18. Vista 1 Inc, Napoleon, OH;
19. Simplified Aviation;
20. Morelle Transfer, WI;
21. Clayton Leasing, MS;
22. 400 WD LLC;
23. Mustang Jets LLC;
24. Joppa Aviation, Charlottesville, VA;
25. Jack Cat LLC, Kansas City, MO;
26. Specialty Container Inc, Owensboro, KY;
27. ODNR Law Enforcement, OH;
28. Santangelo Law Offices, Ft. Collins, CO;
29. Oakbrooke Aviation, FL;
30. Cretex Co Inc, Elk River, MN;
31. Brands Insurance, Cincinnati, OH;
32. WR Meadows Co, IL;
33. Lifebanc / Lifeline, OH (Organ Transport)
LOCAL businesses who benefit directly from the airport:
34. Best Western, Norwalk, OH
35. R&D Equipment, Norwalk, OH
36. Kalahari, Sandusky, OH
37. All American Inn, Norwalk, OH
38. Armbruster Aircraft Sales, Norwalk, OH
39. Americraft Box Carton, Norwalk, OH
40. Sunrise Agronomy, Norwalk, OH
41. Janesville Acoustics, Norwalk, OH
42. Norwalk Furniture, Norwalk, OH
43. FTMC, Norwalk, OH
44. Summit Motorsport park, Norwalk, OH
45. Fitzgerald's Body shop, Monroeville, OH


OMG do you need a brick to fall on your head or what? These few companies that fly in once in a while for fuel or a short jaunt do not bring in tens of thousands of visitors.....what is wrong with you people?

How selfish can you be? Summit wants to expand and YOU are in the way. You have had 40 years to prove yourselves and you have FAILED.

Once again, for the greater good and the 60k residents of this county, accept the future, grow a pair and move on!

Ralph Wiggum

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?


"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?"

Very informative post Ralph, thank you.


Ralph, all you try to do is shift the focus from the inept commissioners to the inert object of the airport. It is the board of commissioners who authorized the previous grants and land purchases and committed the airport into the future. But what should we expect from a group of people who cannot make a decision about a vestibule but can handle the likes of picnic tables? And they drag their feet about providing proper resources to the sheriff's office when our county is running rampant with a huge drug problem. The airport problem merely reflects the bigger problem of three county administrators who are simply over their heads. Hopefully, in November the voters will decide to put someone on with a greater level of competence.

Ralph Wiggum

Who's shifting the focus? I hear constantly about the "economic impact" from all of Dan's 86 hallucinations and I'm pointing out what I see as a problem or a misrepresentation. You accuse me of shifting the focus and then come up with a post like that? What does any of this have to do with the sheriff or a rampant drug problem? Stick to the the topic at hand and try to defend your beloved airport if you can with some sound financial reasoning. It'll be a challenge for you considering the airport shot itself in the foot like Barney Fife when it was shown (in THEIR report) they made not one dime on fuel sales in 2011. Go to a bank and ask for a loan to buy a gas station and tell them you plan on selling fuel at cost and will forgo any profit to provide an "economic impact" for Huron County. How many minutes after the loan officer's blank stare or rolling laughter will they show you to the door? That kind of business transaction will only happen if the taxpayers of Huron County are standing behind you with a signed paper promising the bank they'll be responsible for reimbursement when you fall flat on your face. Exactly what happened 40+ years ago when the airport was built and continuing to this very day.