The county, which will contract with a new operator later this year, has a valuable asset in the county airport, pilot Bonnie Peters told members of the Board of Supervisors Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee Monday.
“It’s another road into the county from everywhere,” Peters said.
Peters, who said she was representing other pilots who use the airport, said the county could attract more traffic and visitors to the airport by marketing the facility.
Many Internet sites related to general aviation have local listings, she said, showing officials copies of a Web page detailing airport operations. She also said she wanted to dispel the notion that the airport costs the taxpayers a lot of money and benefits a few rich people who fly airplanes.
She said pilots come from all walks of life and small planes can be purchased for the cost of a good used car. “None of us falls under the category of wealthy,” she said.
Of the county’s $93 million budget, the airport accounts for $30,000 to $40,000 in spending, she said.
“That allocation is probably some of the best-spent money in the county,” Peters said.
She said in addition to the recreational fliers, the airport is used by business executives, utilities, organ-transplant teams and others.
Peters also noted that the airport is a destination point for stunt pilots who practice in advance of competitions. It amounts to a free air show, she said, and the pilots also contribute to the local economy, spending money on fuel, hotel rooms and meals.
“We hope the new fixed-base operator is successful and we’ll do anything we can to help them,” Peters said.
Also Monday, the committee:
u Set 2008 water rates for the Route 67 water district. The district, which started operating last August, serves the airport, BOCES and Fulton-Montgomery Community College.
“Not good,” Johnstown Supervisor Jim Callery said after reviewing the numbers that call for a rate of $9.38 per 100 cubic feet. That’s almost four times the rate that the city of Johnstown charges its residents.
The city charges the county twice the city rate and the county also has to factor in the cost of operating and maintaining the system.That will account for $4.42 per $100 cubic feet in 2008, down from $5.80 per 100 cubic feet in 2007.
The committee, in an effort to continue to offer the three customers a discount, waived the cost of vehicles used to service the district and personnel-labor costs.That will bring the rate to $6.73 per 100 cubic feet for 2008, down from $7.70 in 2007.
u Amended the budget with regard to the amount of state grant funds distributed to snowmobile clubs for trail maintenance. The new figure, $56,825, is for 170 miles of trail, down from about $60,000 for 196 miles of trail.
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Categories: Schenectady County