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Ex-Mayor could help Valley secure fed funds for airport



Published: Sun, June 24, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

As the Western Reserve Port Au- thority steps up its lobbying effort for a $780,000 federal grant that would be used to attract daily air service to the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, the area may have a trump card in Washington.

The new deputy director of the White House’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs is Jay Williams, the former mayor of Youngstown. In his new job, Williams will lead the Obama administration’s “local engagement with mayors, county and municipal officials across the country,” according to a news release announcing the appointment.

Williams had previously served as the executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers.

Just as he did not need a tutorial on the impact of General Motors Corp.’s Lordstown assembly plant on the Valley’s economy, Williams needs no introduction to the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport or the port authority. As mayor, he was involved in the continuing push to upgrade the facilities and to attract a commercial airline that would provide daily service.

While in Youngstown — he left last August to join the Obama administration — Williams was interviewed many times by national reporters who were impressed not only with his redevelopment blueprint for the city, but also with the fact that the Youngstown-Warren metropolitan area has had one of the highest manufacturing growth rates in the U.S.

Forbes and Manpower magazines said the area was the fourth best place to find a job in the nation.

In 2010, Youngstown had the largest privately funded business expansion project in North America at V&M Star. Williams played a major role in the company investing $700 million in two manufacturing plants being built along Route 422 between Youngstown and Girard.

Oil and gas industry

With all this economic activity, it’s only a matter of time before companies doing business in the Valley seek daily airline service. The fledgling oil and gas industry in the region because of Utica Shale will require that the travel needs of out-of-towners be met.

The Obama administration cannot ignore this potential economic boom, which is why we believe that Williams’ involvement is appropriate. After all, his duties involve assisting local communities in their dealings with Washington.

The $780,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration would be used to pay an airline to keep it operating here for a year in case the service is not self-sustaining at the beginning. The port authority would provide matching funds of 35 percent, and in-kind contributions of $480,000.

The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport has been without regular daily air service since 2002, but with the Valley poised to ride the crest of the new economy, the issue has taken on a sense of urgency.


Comments

1Photoman(1004 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

This sense of urgency seemed, on the surface, present some 20 plus years ago but then, as usual for this area, political bickering and petty turf wars erupted and we lost the possibility of attracting major freight and passenger carriers. Meanwhile, the Akron-Canton folks had their stuff together and attracted what could have been ours. Now we go back to kissing the rings of those in Washington in an effort to compensate for our own past stupidity.

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2UticaShale(854 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

These entitled politicians would steal credit from anyone or anything they can get their lazy hands on. Every landowner in the Utica and Marcellus shale knows private enterprise is responsible for our new growth here in the Valley.

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3Knightcap(700 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

He's as useful as a one arm trapese artist with an itchy asss.

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4mvred(5 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Akron-Canton's big break came in the mid-to-late 1990s when AirTran decided to come to town. Prior to AirTran heading to CAK, that airport had roughly double the number of passengers of YNG. Fifteen years later, they have significantly more passengers than YNG, 10-12x more than YNG.

Fortunately for YNG, we attracted Allegiant Air to the Valley in 2006. The airlines presence at YNG continues to grow and slowly but surely we have become one of the larger markets east of the Mississippi for Allegiant.

The return of daily service will help YNG and the State of Ohio capture the leakage of passengers across the state border to PIT. With help from local politicians all the way up to Governor Kasich, we can take back the hundred thousand passengers per year from our community that choose to fly from PIT.

We can make it happen and in due time it will happen!

Fly YNG!

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5paulydel(1293 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

A cargo terminal should have been built a long time ago. Most companies have sould their jets because of cost cutting measures. If the port is built and up and running it could become a hub for UPS or FedEx even smaller companies. It only takes one to start it.

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6DontBanThisDrone(466 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

A cargo hub would be great. However, there's just one problem; This is northeast Ohio - there's no cargo.

(-:

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7DontBanThisDrone(466 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

The only cargo in this area, is when a thief steals your car, and the only thing you can do is look out your window, and watch your car go.

(-:

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8Jerry(498 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

........."The $780,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration would be used to PAY AN AIRLINE to keep it operating here for a year IN CASE THE SERVICE IS NOT SELF-SUSTAINING at the beginning. The port authority would provide matching funds of 35 percent, and in-kind contributions of $480,000."........

What the heck, it's not like it's real money. It's Bama Bucks and they're free!!!!!!!! Lets just spend it now, quick, without thinking about it. This is really chump change compared to the $37 million poured down the drain for Covelli Cener.

You know, it's kinda comical to point out that, if we hadn't spent the $360,000 for useless government funded wind turbines in Berlin, and another $131,700 for useless government funded wind turbines in Lordstown; we would have more than the $480,000 needed for the "in-kind contributions".

Tax and spend. Tax and spend. Why stop now, it's working so well!!!!

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9valleyred(1097 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

YoungstownTelegram.

Last year, the airport had 70,000 total passengers, the most since 1998. That number should increase to 75,000 this year.

Allegiant flies 2x to Orlando, 2x to Tampa, and 4x to Myrtle Beach as of this week. Numerous charters to Atlantic City, Tunica, and Gulfport are flown each month from YNG as well.

You are welcome up to the airport at any time and you can see the progress the facility is making.

And remember folks. It was this very program, SCASD, that brought AirTran to CAK and Allegiant to YNG.

Suggest removal:

10valleyred(1097 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

YoungstownTelegram.

Last year, the airport had 70,000 total passengers, the most since 1998. That number should increase to 75,000 this year.

Allegiant flies 2x to Orlando, 2x to Tampa, and 4x to Myrtle Beach as of this week. Numerous charters to Atlantic City, Tunica, and Gulfport are flown each month from YNG as well.

You are welcome up to the airport at any time and you can see the progress the facility is making.

And remember folks. It was this very program, SCASD, that brought AirTran to CAK and Allegiant to YNG.

Suggest removal:


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