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Council advised to delay airport sale

June 05, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Chambersburg Airport won't be put up for sale before 2004 if the Chambersburg Borough Council follows the recommendation made in a report by Assistant Borough Manager David Finch.

The airport lost money last year and will continue to lose money, but the report indicated the borough could have to repay the federal government nearly $300,000 if it was sold before 2004.

The report said the airport lost $7,289 last year and will lose $11,562 this year. Losses from this year to 2003 would be between $65,000 and $85,000, according to Finch.

If the borough sells before 2004 - 20 years from the time the last federal money was spent on the facility -half of the sale price would go to the federal government, he said.

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The report said the appraised value of the airport in 1997 was $585,000.

"I think we ought to keep it," Councilman Kevin Tanger said.

Expenses for 1997 totaled almost $17,000, mostly for liability insurance and runway and building maintenance, the report said. Income came to $9,547, with $6,000 of that coming from Advanced Aerosports, a skydiving company.

This year the borough expects to spend $23,509 on the airport, including $6,000 to paint the runway lines. Next year, another $10,000 is to be spent to patch the runway, the report said.

The 28-year-old airport is about five miles north of the borough in Greene Township.

Last year a group of business people formed the Chambersburg Airport Redevelopment Committee in an effort to convince government officials in Franklin, Fulton and Cumberland counties to create an authority and develop it as a regional airport.

Mostly used by private pilots and skydivers, the airport has no air traffic control or refueling facilities and has operated in the red since the early 1990s.

The council requested the report to determine if it made financial sense to sell before the 20-year commitment to the federal government expired.

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