WRPA approves 3 months’ salary as severance to former director
By Jordyn Grzelewski
The Western Reserve Port Authority board approved a severance agreement with Dan Dickten, the former Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport aviation director.
The board agreed Wednesday to pay Dickten three months’ worth of salary past his April resignation date, WRPA Executive Director John Moliterno said.
“That was in deference to the time he spent here as our airport director,” Moliterno said. “I thought that was gracious on behalf of the board.”
Dickten’s annual salary was $95,481, per his most recent contract. After eight years as aviation director, Dickten resigned after his contract expired April 21.
Moliterno currently is filling the aviation director role until a replacement for Dickten is hired. Moliterno said the port authority is in the early stages of looking for a new aviation director, with an aviation consultant starting to search.
In another matter, the port authority moved forward on a development project in downtown Youngstown.
The board OK’d the acceptance of a bank loan of up to $952,000 to develop the Harshman Building at 105 E. Boardman St., which is vacant.
The WRPA will purchase the building for $350,000, then plans to renovate it. The authority also has plans to replace the roof for $40,000.
Eastern Gateway Community College plans to lease the building’s first floor, and another potential tenant is interested in leasing the second floor, said Anthony Trevena, economic development director for NEO Development and Finance Authority, a division of the port authority.
The port authority approved a $570,900 contract with Brock Builders Inc. of North Lima for the first-floor and basement renovations.
Trevena said $100,000 from the state will help cover the renovations, and the WRPA will spend $118,000 from its funds.
The rest of the funding will come from the bank loan, which is the maximum amount the authority can borrow for the project.
Trevena said Eastern Gateway expects to move in by year’s end.
He said he expects to have the lease signed and other required documentation finalized by the board’s July 11 meeting. The port authority then will be able to get the building title and start on the first-floor and basement renovations.
The WRPA must have a signed lease for the bank to release funding for the second-floor renovations.
In other business, the port authority’s airport consultant notified the panel the airport is eligible to apply for funding from a $1 billion Federal Aviation Administration appropriations bill.
Small, nonhub airports not located in metropolitan areas are eligible to apply for funding for capital improvements. The Vienna-based airport is included on the list of airports for priority consideration, the consultant said.