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Youngstown council sends airport officials to suburbs for funding



Published: Thu, April 3, 2014 @ 12:09 a.m.

youngstown

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Dickten

SEE ALSO: Youngstown police get new contract

By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Those seeking money to help secure daily service from United Airlines at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport didn’t come away with any financial commitment from Youngstown City Council.

And city Finance Director David Bozanich said at Wednesday’s meeting that those seeking the money need to seek a funding commitment from townships — specifically naming Austintown, Boardman and Canfield — and then return to Youngstown.

“Spread it out over the population base and come back and say what the fair share is for us,” he said. “We’d like to see everyone pay its fair share.”

Dan Dickten, the airport’s director of aviation, said he, along with the Western Reserve Port Authority and YNGAir Partners, an airport support group, had not considered that approach, but planned to approach other communities.

After the meeting, Dickten said he and YNGAir Partners planned to speak to city officials in Sharon, Pa., about a financial commitment, and would talk with “any townships that will have us.”

Warren Councilwoman Helen Rucker, chairwoman of its economic development committee, said she plans to ask the rest of council to approve a $30,000 contribution.

Dickten said he didn’t ask for a specific amount from Warren on Tuesday or a specific amount Wednesday from Youngstown.

“We’re looking to Youngstown for a [financial] commitment and to help get private businesses involved,” he said.

For United Airlines to have daily air service from the airport to Chicago — starting with two flights a day — the company needs a $1.66 million revenue guarantee during the two-year startup phase to ensure at least a 5-percent profit, Dickten said.

“No airline is coming into an airport without daily service for 10 years” without a guarantee, he said.

The money isn’t needed right away, he said.

If United decided to come in April, it would take three months before flights would begin and the money would be needed six months after a decision, Dickten said.

The port authority, which runs the airport, is contributing $420,000 — nearly all from a hotel bed tax — as a local match to a $780,000 federal grant.

Also, the Cafaro Foundation has pledged $100,000.

That leaves $360,000 — and that would be reduced by $30,000 if Warren commits that amount.

Also Wednesday, council heard from the three Mahoning County commissioners requesting support for a 0.5 percent sales tax renewal on the May 6 ballot.

But rather than a five-year renewal, the commissioners’ ballot proposal calls for the tax to be approved for a continuous period of time.

City council is expected to consider a resolution at its next meeting, April 16.

Council agreed to have the city spend up to $185,000 to purchase 150 Tasers along with other assorted costs for its police department to replace five-year-old stun guns.


Comments

1UticaShale(854 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

If the airport can't compete, shut it down.

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2NoBS(1963 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Looks like nobody wants to fund daily service to Chicago. If the business/money isn't there, it isn't there. It sucks for the handful of people who would use it, but for the 99% of us who wouldn't use a daily commute to Chicago, it's just one more needless expense.

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3Nurse_Midlo(34 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you to Youngstown City Council for not throwing thousands of dollars at this... yet.

This has to be a joke, right? Does Youngstown need daily service to Chicago?

We are within an hours drive of Akron, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland!

This is Port Authority mismanagement on its face.

Of course the kings of Belmont Avenue will slip some envelopes to maintain control.

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4ValleyVolunteer(2 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Boy, that's very short-sighted to say we don't need this. And worse, to think it's a joke! Are YOU serious??? To keep the area thriving our own airport with daily service to Chicago is not only an excellent idea it's a very practical idea!
This is what makes a community healthy.
This is what growth looks like.
This is what makes a difference.
Good Luck!

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5michael1757(279 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Just don't come to my house.

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6DontBanThisDrone(470 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

ValleyVolunteer wrote: "To keep the area thriving..."

I don't know if you've noticed, but...

(-:

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7Nurse_Midlo(34 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Please describe how daily service at our airport will make this area healthy.

This is a practical idea? Spending thousands of dollars is practical for daily service no one will use?

How many Youngstown folk are clamoring to get out to Chicago every day (Other than the politicians evading indictment)?

We do not have the capacity to sustain daily service and this money will be wasted. The government should be guaranteeing a business profit, the risk should be theirs.

Good luck to you!

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8valleyred(1098 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Nurse, we are a metropolitan area of over 600,000 people. To say nobody will use this service is laughable on your part. Time is money and the savings across the board by flying out of YNG will provide extra value to local businesses.

Additionally, you do realize Chicago O'Hare is the #2 airport in terms of passenger traffic in America, second only to Atlanta? Sure those two cities don't jump out at you as major destination cities, but they are the two largest airports in the US because of connecting traffic. You can connect virtually ANYWHERE in the world via Chicago O'Hare.

So before you come on here and whine like all of the other naysayers, I suggest you do some homework.

I recall back in 2005 when the local counties put up funding for a local match to bring Allegiant Air to our airport, there was quite the outrage. Nine years later, we are on pace for over 100,000 passengers with Allegiant. Back then the naysayers were far more vocal in their opposition to supporting this airport. However, now, as the airport continues to grow, you are seeing less and less of them.

Lose the doom and gloom attitude.

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9Nurse_Midlo(34 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

If our bustling metropolitan area was worth a look for daily service, don't you think it would have come here on its own?

Additionally, a 60 minute drive to one of the three airports will similarly get you pretty much anywhere you want. We have lots of options here.

This is a waste on its face, plain and simple.

Why doesn't the good Cafaro Co spend their money on something more productive?

Allegiant is only the most recent in a (if I remember correctly) string of airlines that came in and later cancelled service.

This is the problem with this area, we don't understand regionalism. Everyone screams regionalism on behalf of saving Youngstown, but when will this city, this area, realize that the issue of regionalism is the region of Northeast Ohio and Western PA?

We have enough airports.

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10YNGAirSupporter(16 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Nurse, the airports we do have are shrinking their services. The flying public will need to be served. Bringing United here will create at least 50 full time jobs at the airport alone. Less drive time, less parking fees, less time in the terminal and for the same price as the other airports. No brainer! If a new business was coming to the area they would be offered incentives, tax breaks and infrastructure upgrades. This is no different. Akron-Canton airport used the same funding method for AirTran which is now Southwest. United will only collect from the fund if flights have less than 72% capacity and even they say that will only be in the first few months. They only ask for the money to get to 72% so if that is one ticket, that is it. If they sell over that 72% they don't draw from the funding. Incentive to fly now isn't it? By the way, one last thing. United approached us so they do want to come here.

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11valleyred(1098 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

"Allegiant is only the most recent in a (if I remember correctly) string of airlines that came in and later cancelled service."

What are you talking about? If you are going to come on here and argue against the service, at least come with facts.

What service has Allegiant cancelled? NONE. They have added three additional cities to the original destination of Orlando-Sanford Intl. Airport.

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