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February 6, 2014

Airport panel identifies list of needs, sets workshop date

Rentals, facility conditions and funding sources were among the range of topics addressed by the Oneonta Airport Commission during its recent first meeting.

Commissioners Jeff Back, Leonard Carson, Dennis Finn and Ed May met Jan. 30, and May was elected chairman. One commission seat is vacant.

Commissioners set a workshop meeting with engineers to discuss possible capital improvement programs for 4:30 p.m. Feb. 12, and they decided to have regular meetings at 4 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month.

Commissioners reviewed needs of the airport, including increasing awareness that it exists among Common Council members and the community, promoting it as a resource and offering public activities or events.

The appearance and condition of hangars, the lobby and grounds were raised as factors needing attention, as well as access and safety of the runway. May said the commission noted criticisms and is working toward improvements.

Commissioners discussed new leases for hangars and collection of past-due accounts, and they revisited the idea of the airport being owned by Otsego County instead of the city.

The city continues collaborating with the Oneonta Job Corps Academy to provide classroom space at the airport in exchange for services, such as electrical and general construction work, commissioners said.

The Common Council established the commission in December to provide long-term planning and address needs for supervision and day-to-day administration of the airport. Commissioners, who are volunteers, are appointed by the mayor with council approval.

The commission will make recommendations to the council about management, maintenance and care of the airport and propose or apply for public funds or other aid. 

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