MAHONING COUNTY Officials apply leftover funds to airport costs

The money comes from airport capital improvement funding left over from 2001.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County commissioners are using money left from 2001 to help pay part of their share of operating costs at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport this year.
Commissioners contribute money each year for operation of the airport, which is in Trumbull County. They share the cost equally with Trumbull commissioners.
The Western Reserve Port Authority, which oversees operation of the airport, has asked for $315,000 from each county to help cover this year's operating costs.
What's left over: The port board still has about $131,000 of Mahoning County's 2001 funding allocation that had been set aside for capital improvement projects at the airport, but was not used.
Commissioners authorized the board to convert $78,750 of that money for general operating expenses. That represents one-fourth of the overall funding request, said Thomas P. Nolan, airport director of aviation.
Commissioners took that route because they are operating on a quarterly budget themselves, said Commissioner Ed Reese. They won't approve a final budget until late March.
Commissioners also voted to convert $30,000 of the leftover money to pay for their share of a feasibility study for an economic development project at the airport, which is also being shared equally with Trumbull County.
"We're not giving them any new money," Reese said. "This just allows them to reallocate money they already had."
Neither Reese nor Nolan was sure what will be done with the remaining $22,000 of the unused capital improvement money.
Agreement approved: Commissioners also approved a mutual aid agreement between the county emergency management agency and its companion agencies in Columbiana and Trumbull counties.
Walter Duzzny, EMA executive director, said the document establishes protocol in the event that any of the three counties must call on the others for help in a disaster.
"It clears up a lot of turf issues," Duzzny said. "That's good because in emergencies, there are no boundaries."
The agreement must be approved by commissioners in the neighboring counties, Duzzny said.
Before the business meeting, Reese was named commissioners' president for 2002, and Commissioner David Ludt was elected vice president.

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