Airport Authority asks City for full funding

Jimmy Brummitt of the Airport Authority addressed the Henderson City Council on Monday evening to speak about the City’s contribution to that organization.

He was accompanied by David Thomas.

Brummitt said that in 2004, all contributing members approved a five-year budget that allowed the authority to proceed with grants. He stated that the grants are “in-line” now.

Brummitt noted that the City of Henderson is the only partner in the regional airport that has not contributed fully to the plan.

The authority representative noted that the charter for the authority states that if a partner does not contribute in full, it cannot have a representative on the board.

Brummitt said that prospective businesses want to know two things: where the airport and country club are.

After confirming that the City had shorted the Airport Authority $10,000, City Manager Jerry Moss asked if the City of Oxford had also under-contributed.

Brummitt replied that Oxford had indicated it would pay if Henderson would.

City Council member Lynn Harper stated that the Council had never gotten a “good answer” about the airport’s other sources of funding, such as gas tax, hanger rental, and partner contributions.

It was later stated that hanger rental is worth $70,000 annually to the airport.

When Council member Elissa Yount noted that the North Carolina Department of Transportation does not underwrite local airports, Brummitt responded that they have helped. He said that the NC DOT had repaved an airstrip to use as an example.

Brummitt noted other cost-cutting measures, such as getting someone to maintain the airport’s excess land for free.

The airport spokesman said that only $23,500 had been asked from each municipality this year.

Moss asked Brummitt about an $8,500 line item for clerical help. Brummitt explained that it was for accounting, and that the cost was exceeding that amount.

Harper requested that the matter be referred to the Finance and Intergovernmental Relations (FAIR) Committee for further study.

Henderson Mayor Clem Seifert said that the airport was “an asset we take for granted”.

Yount reminded the airport representatives of the eCivis program which they could use to look for grant money.