That committee, appointed by the
Also in attendance for the nearly two-hour meeting was airport board chairman
The airport currently owes two different banks a total of more than
Refinancing that debt would combine the loans into one, and reduce the interest rate.
During the last fiscal court meeting
To begin that discussion White said the Court had been asked to act as a guarantor on the refinancing of loans owed by the airport.
White said refinancing would be a substantial savings to the airport board and encouraged Court members to agree to the refinancing plan. The airport would pay
The airport has also achieved tax exempt status from the Kentucky Revenue Service for the first 60 months of the loan.
The court would not be alone in this refinancing process, however. The court is guaranteeing 67 percent of the loan and the city of
During that meeting Myers said he had several questions, which he got to ask Thursday afternoon.
"Part of my concern in being hesitant (was that we) know our position with the
Myers asked about the ownership of the airport, and about the loans entered into "in the past without our signing off on it."
Mays explained that those loans were for the new terminal building and the modifications that were necessary for the
Mays also told the committee that the board, county and city own the
The 10-member airport board consists of five members appointed by the Judge/Executive, and five members appointed by
Myers asked other questions concerning fuel inventory and billing, which Mays and Stricklin both explained how that part of the operation worked.
Myers then expressed his concern that "all of a sudden these loans are an issue."
Mays explained that "certain" people "involved in the board and in the management," that there was a lack of communication internally and externally with the banks from which the loans were made.
He added that at one point the communication was so bad that the airport was in danger of foreclosure simply for the lack of a signature.
Mays assured the committee that the current board members insist on being above the board and are behind the idea of transparency with the board's work.
Fuson said that his concern was the commitment. "(We're) paying
Mays explained that the "biggest need" at the airport is a full-time facility manager.
He explained that the board itself, with the help of lineman
"We save money where we can to get the budget in shape for hiring a manager," Mays said, adding that had a full-time facility manager been in place, "many of these problems could have been caught sooner."
It was then learned that at one time tourism dollars paid the airport manager salary -- Gray added that it could still be done that way.
Mays said that from the time the salary was paid that way, several people have filled the manager's shoes.
Myers asked whether Mays felt that mismanagement was the issue. "I can't really say," he said. "My impression is that it's a little bit of it."
"If the loan was in good standing, would we even be here today?" Myers asked.
No one answered that question, but Prewitt felt that the original board was comprised of folks concerned with aviation, while the current board held members who "are lovers of
He added that the airport is the county's "underutilized jewel."
Prewitt then added he didn't feel the airport's recent issues came from mismanagement as much as it was miscommunication.
He said that no one had the intent to allow things to go awry, but that "this is a case where (we) weren't meeting regularly enough," and were more involved with airport maintenance rather than managing the airport.
"That in itself is why I'm concerned," Myers said.
Fuson said he felt the refinancing should be "a last resort."
He wanted to do something else that wouldn't "tie up" the fiscal court. "It (doesn't) look good to me where the airport is going," Fuson said, adding that with the current "track record" no one would buy this as a private business.
Currently, the county pays
The problem with these two airport loans? The two of them mature this month. It was also learned that the refinance plan "extinguishes" the airport's imminent debt and gets some of it paid down.
"We're on the spot," Myers said, adding he did not want to make the airport a taxpayer burden. The committee then learned there were no options available "that don't tie up
"If fiscal court doesn't do this, what's the next move?" Myers asked.
"We're kind of handcuffed," Mays answered. "(It will) take a lot longer to do the things we need to do at the airport -- I would submit that the airport is going to be in a lot better shape if we go through this process."
Mays felt this was the best course for the airport. "That's better for everyone involved," he said. "There's less of a chance of the airport going under with this loan in place."
Myers added that the loan would likely only increase the airport's cash flow by about
Mays said they would have to suspend the search for a manager.
Myers asked if there was money to pay
Mays said that with the restructuring of the debt and the additional
Right now, approximately
Myers felt asking fiscal court to provide additional monies in the "short term" until the board had a better plan and outline for the future. "It's got to be a plan to go forward to make it work," Myers said. "(That) would be my recommendation -- that's where I stand on it."
He added that if the airport board got a better footing on the finances maybe they could "get a loan on their own merit."
No official decisions were made during this committee meeting, but it will be discussed during the next
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