Would charging for parking affect usage of Washington County's Regional Airport? County Commissioner Ron Bowers says it could. Chris Howley, vice president of a Tennessee firm that wants to run an airport parking concession says it wouldn't. We hope somebody gets around to asking some actual passengers before a decision is made.
The issue was raised at last week's county commissioner meeting when Howley proposed that Republic Parking implement and operate paid parking toll booths. Installation would cost $64,000, which would enable the booths to be manned 19 hours per day.
Howley proposed charging $4 a day, or $20 a week maximum, and a sample contract he presented would provide his company with the first $50,000 in revenue. The more revenue received, the greater the county's share would be, with the airport getting 85 percent of everything over $150,000.
Now to generate $150,000 in parking fees, the airport would have to play host to either 37,500 passengers who parked for one day apiece, or 7,500 who parked for a week. That's certainly possible, since there were 34,370 outgoing passengers in 1996.