Airport board, with new chair, to address misconceptions

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

CARROLL COUNTY -- With a new chairman in place, the Carroll County Airport Commission discussed long-range goals.

At the commission's monthly meeting on July 2, Chairman Dave Teigen said, "Public awareness is my big deal."

Although the airport serves an important economic function in the county, many local residents think of the airport as just a place for a select few to park their planes. To counteract this misperception, the commissioners discussed a series of presentations for organizations, beginning with the quorum court.

The presentations will include a brief history of the airport and an explanation of the airport's value to the county.

"We need to inform local businesses and the public that we're a profit to the county," Teigen said. "It's imperative that we explain that to the business community and the general public."

Teigen said one important discussion point would concern the amount of state and federal money which has come into the airport, money which dwarfs the amount spent by the county.

The presentations should also include an explanation of expansion plans at the airport.

Other long-range goals should include an enhanced Web presence, with such features as local weather conditions and a way to reserve rental vehicles at the airport.

The commissioners also discussed the importance of reaching out to younger residents of the county. "I've never seen a child not smile when he gets next to an airplane," Teigen said. An "aviation day" would be a chance to get kids, parents, and teachers involved.

Building needs at the airport were also discussed, including additional hangars on the north side of the field, and even a terminal building.

Miscellaneous

* A lawsuit to invalidate a lease held by Michael Coghlan is still on hold, pending further negotiation between the commission and the lease-holder. At last word, Coghlan still plans to have the property appraised by his own agent, in hopes of reaching a settlement and avoiding further legal proceedings between the two sides.

* A plan to hire another contractor to finish the installation of a security gate is still on hold, pending advice from Prosecuting Attorney Tony Rogers. The original contractor failed to complete the job after more than a year, and the commissioners had planned to hire another contractor and later try to recover funds paid to the original contractor. Rogers was asked what steps the commission should take to formally notify the original contractor of the status of the job.

* Lester Ward received the votes of the commission to fill a vacancy on the commission caused by the resignation of Dr. Tony Pike. "I've known him the entire time I've been on this commission," Teigen said. "He seems devoted to seeing this airport develop its potential."

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