First I want to thank our current Port Authority board of directors for all their volunteer service: Terry Burns, Chairman (15 years
service); Patrick Myers, Vice-Chairman (12 years); Michael Diskin, Treasurer (8 years); Karl Schmidlin (20 years) and Patrick Chrysler (7 years). These individuals like so many other volunteers are unpaid and put in a great amount of time and energy in service to the island community. THANK YOU!

The Put-in-Bay Port Authority receives the majority of their funding for capital improvements from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In the past, the Port Authority had a 5% match to FAA dollars (ie: FAA pays $95 & Put-in-Bay Port Authority pays $5) House Bill 658 recently passed and will increase our local match to 10%. Needless to say, doubling the number of local dollars required to complete needed improvements will be a bit of a hardship. As always, we will continue to strive for additional sources of revenue and continue to minimize expenses as much as possible to meet the demands for improvements at the three island airports and harbor.

We are in the process of applying for a grant to complete a runway rehabilitation project this year and hope to receive federal funding in time to start the project at the end of September. During the project, the existing asphalt surface will be ground up and used as a base for a brand new layer of asphalt and then the surface will be repainted. The Put-in-Bay airport will be closed for approximately three weeks while the project is completed and the resurfacing will cost approximately 1.4 million dollars. The local match of 10% will be paid from the Port Authority general fund and cost approximately $140,000. As explained in my November article, the money used to cover our local cost comes from a number of different sources including aircraft fees, rental income, mooring field lease, etc., as well as economic development income.

Property tax income will not be used on this project and will continue to be utilized to pay off the debt incurred when the airport was purchased. We have four years of payments remaining on our bond note so this debt will be paid off in 2015. We also owe the Township additional money which was borrowed when the levy failed in 2009 and we were unable to make our bond payment. Last year the Put-in-Bay Port Authority worked with Marv Booker and his staff at the Boardwalk to replace worn ground tackle in the mooring field. Most of the work was completed in 2011, but the remainder of the work will be completed this spring.

The Put-in-Bay Road Races will be back on the island and racing at the airport again this year. The event has been moved to September 20 – 22, 2012. You can get additional information on the event at the Put-in-Bay Events website Our next board meeting is on Saturday, May 19th at 9 am at the Township Bldg on Trenton Rd. Hope to see you there!