Port Authority Board Authorizes Fees, Auction Opportunities
11 Jun 2021
Staff Reports Focus on Countywide Economic Development Efforts
At its June meeting, the Clinton County Port Authority Board addressed three business items and spent much of the discussion time on economic development efforts throughout Clinton County. Opening the first in-person meeting in 15 months, Chairman Walt Rowsey remarked that it was good to be back together. He added, “The recent 10+1 Anniversary event was also nice for those who were able to get together.” He offered his thanks to those who attended and for all those involved in getting it organized.
The Board had three business items to consider at its meeting. After reviewing and authorizing payment of bills, the Board discussed the opportunity to purchase used airport equipment at auction. For the past few years, the Board has authorized the Executive Director to purchase equipment in support of Airport Operations from other airports. Generally, this equipment is available through a government auction service. Often, the auction notice and subsequent auction happen in rapid succession. This authorization allows the Executive Director to react quickly when equipment becomes available and is often able to purchase it well below “new” price.
“Many federally funded airports are able to replace equipment every few years,” said Daniel Evers, Executive Director for the Clinton County Port Authority. “The equipment is often still in good shape and available at a discount.”
Generally, the maintenance team from LGSTX is able to review the equipment before purchase to ensure that it is what the airport needs and will perform as intended when it arrives. In the last year, the staff has spent just short of $200,000 on equipment purchased at auction, including a recent purchase of three snow brooms and related equipment for just over $100,000, delivered. One of these machines, new, would cost in excess of $350,000. The Board authorized a cap of $300,000 for these types of purchase for the next year.
The Board also approved a new fee schedule for Conference and Training Rooms at the Wilmington Air Park. The technology in these rooms was recently upgraded, with two rooms completely outfitted for video conferencing. Staff completed a survey of room rental charges in the area before suggesting pricing. The rooms are used frequently by Air Park tenants for meetings, training, and other social activities.
Much of the discussion in the Staff reports focused on countywide economic development activity. In a report from the Port Authority’s broker for the Wilmington Air Park, David Lotterer of JLL shared the progress on build-to-suit and speculative building prospects at the Air Park. Discussions with third-party developers continue, as does the work on the development site. The Port Authority is close to having all the “homework” done to allow the site to be authenticated in the State of Ohio’s site inventory program.
Chairman Rowsey asked if incentives to help draw developers to the area had been discussed with county and municipal partners. Mr. Lotterer confirmed that there had been some discussion, and that more was planned.
Infrastructure, housing and workforce also were topics of longer conversations, as well as the eight sites submitted to the JobsOhio Wave 3 of the Site Authentication program. “The Air Park site was in the second wave, and, as already mentioned, it is nearing authentication,” said Jennifer Klus, Economic Development Director for the Clinton County Port Authority. “We were not able to gather all the information requested for the other eight sites, but that is part of the exercise – to determine what is known so that the sites can be better situated to be candidates for leads when they are shared.”
Clinton County Commissioner Brenda Woods, in attendance at the meeting, shared that the County has engaged a consultant to review county infrastructure in some areas, including sewer and water accessibility.
“We have a great group assembled to tackle these issues and ongoing conversations,” said Chairman Rowsey, as the discussion concluded.