Airport supporter: Commissioners trying to deflect the blame

FAA said airport board did not submit proper paperwork in time for closure for raceway event.
Scott Seitz2
Jun 15, 2014


A local supporter of the Huron County Airport didn't appreciate the recent comments made by a county commissioner regarding the airport secretary.

Dan LeClair, president of the Friends of the Huron County Airport group, said via email Commissioner Tom Dunlap was way off-base when he blamed secretary Doug Arnold for the recent airport-paperwork-closure drama.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently denied closing the local airport so Summit Motorsports Park could use the runway as an exit on May 17. FAA officials said the airport board did not submit proper paperwork in time for the closure.

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On Thursday the FAA sent sent representatives to meet with the airport co-sponsors (commissioners) to discuss issues.
Commissioner Mr. Joe Hintz was there and he kept pushing for ways of relieving the county of the federal grant assurance responsibilities, and perpetuity obligations,as well as wanting to get authorization for the Raceway's 2014, July and August requested closure dates.
FAA rep. John Mayfield, informed Mr. Hintz that the "ENTIRE" Huron County airport is obligated in PERPETUITY, and that the county is obligated to abide by the signed federal grant assurances, and maintain the airport to safe standards. Mr. Mayfield also stated that all monies made on airport property are suppose to remain at the airport. In other words, the farm rent revenues, and tree removal revenue belong to the airport, not the county commissioners, to be placed in the general fund. Somehow Mr. Hintz just couldn't comprehend the perpetuity obligation, or the fact that they have to maintain the facility, even if they didn't want to.
Mr. Hintz stated he is opposed to financing any general maintenance or capital improvement projects using AIP funding, or even local general fund monies. He stated he will never sign a federal AIP grant application for the airport as long as there are requirements to abide by.
Hintz has NO interest or intention of adhering to the grant assurance obligations the county is already under to maintain the airport.
FAA rep. Mr. Mayfield stated he needed to go back to the Compliance Section, who would eventually either approve or deny the requests for closures. Mr Mayfield did state it would be difficult to convince the Compliance Section to approve the requested closures when Mr. Hintz (as an airport co-sponsor) has such a negative response to adhering to the grant assurances, or even maintaining the facility.
Also Mr. Bob Hanline, a local businessman, who was flying out of the airport on the chartered aircraft at the time of the meeting heard that Commissioner Joe Hintz was present, and so approached and introduced himself He talked with Mr. Hintz about the economic value of the airport, and they were not evidently the words Mr. Hintz was expecting to hear.


The commissioners are trying to devalue the property so they can sell it to a local businessman who would greatly benefit from the property being appraised as a run down commercial property instead of an airport. The power of bribes and shady elected officials. As a young kid I remember going to a festival at the airport, but they don't seem to have that event anymore. This is my opinion obviously, so instead of attacking mine, be objective and creative to share your own.


Well they have an opportunity to make an extra income by just closing it for a couple hours and they screw that up. The board is evidently on the same page as Congress.


That was the commissioner's and Bader's lackey Essex who was responsible for that mess up.
He had the dates from Bader well before the FAA needed the request and didn't even share the info with the rest of the board till just a couple weeks before the first date. By then it was to late to get the closures approved.


So you're saying Bader's lackey sabotaged the closure request so Bader can't use the airport? What kind of sense does that make? One of your guys would be more likely to do that.


Yes, the truth is often stranger than fiction. Essex was appointed to the airport board by the Huron County Commissioners in order to create as much turmoil as possible. He is doing a good job at it, too!

Happy Hermit

Me thinks we have a commish with a one sided or better said one person goal! It sure isn't the interest of Huron County.


He's got full pockets too.


Be careful what you say! The moderators may remove your comment for stating what we're all thinking.


New London Robber, I don't believe that at all. That is pretty slanderous unless you can prove that !


Thanks to the Friends of the Airport group and other airport supporters for keeping this shameful matter in the public eye. The commissioners need to be called to account (and hopefully will be in future elections) for neglecting their (the county's) legal obligations. We won't even mention their shortsightedness and lack of vision, much less any semblance of business sense.


What happened to the airport article that was posted on this NR website yesterday with a time stamp of 2:00PM? Was it taken down because a win-win solution was found or because it contained the statement below?

“It sounded during the meeting as if the county commissioners would be supplying the equipment for the construction work and a private entity would supply the funding for the resources to build the gravel road. If that is the case there may be an issue using county equipment for a project which benefits a private enterprise,” LeClair said.