By Ed Runyan
The Western Reserve Port Authority has authorized the sale of bonds to construct a $300,000 maintenance building to be shared by the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and its main service provider, Winner Aviation.
Winner Aviation will lease two of three new bays, and the airport will use the third bay for storage of equipment. It also will allow demolition of an existing building that is an eyesore, said Andrew Visnapuu, a port authority board member.
The authority also authorized Dan Dickten, director of aviation, to enter into an agreement with Halcon Field Services for construction of a 60-foot-wide, 8,000-foot-long easement to bury a pipeline on the south end of the airport property.
The agreement could result in revenue of nearly $250,000 with the airport’s only costs being about $10,000 worth of engineering work and legal fees, Dickten said.
The port authority also authorized spending about $270,000 to begin construction of more parking to the east of the present 350-vehicle lot.
The first phase will create 120 new parking spaces this fall and enclose them in a fence. The cost will be $60,000 to add an access-control and fee-collection system for the new area.
Dickten anticipates that parking revenues over the next couple of years will pay for the additional spaces. By the end of the third phase, the airport will have about 700 spaces, Dickten said.
The airport has run out of parking spaces at peak traffic times this summer and will have additional customers as Allegiant Air adds flights to Punta Gorda, Fla., starting in October.
The board also approved hiring an operations coordinator at a salary of $42,282 annually. An existing operations/maintenance employee, Don Johnson, moved into the operations- coordinator position temporarily a few months ago.
Another operations/ maintenance worker will be hired at $29,640 annually to fill Johnson’s former position.
The airport currently has one operations manager, Jack Sullivan, director of operations and maintenance, who has worked at the airport 40 years.