Harrietstown seeks solutions to airport woes

Board forms citizens' airport committee

The Adirondack Regional Airport in Harrietstown.

The Adirondack Regional Airport in Harrietstown.

— The Harrietstown Town Board will be headed downstate this month to speak with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials and formally discuss the status of the town’s financially-strapped Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear.

Meanwhile, board members recently formed a citizens’ airport committee to help the board seek ways to make the property more financially stable, and they are drafting a response to the New York State Comptroller’s audit of the airport, released Jan. 10, that cites accounting problems with the facility’s fuel inventory, related sales tax reporting, and accounting for capital projects.

Supervisor Larry Miller told Town Board members at the Jan. 26 meeting that he has been in contact with the FAA on Long Island and state of New York officials to let them know the town was interested in holding a public meeting about turning the Adirondack Regional Airport over to Franklin County. One FAA official said Harrietstown’s story about running an airport during rough financial times is not a new one.

“He told me that there are a lot of little airports like us who are in a world of hurt,” Miller said. “They’re getting a lot of feedback from the northeastern United States. There are a lot of little airports in trouble.”

The Town Board gave Airport Manager Corey Hurwitch permission to travel to Jamaica, N.Y. to visit with FAA officials on Feb. 13 to formally discuss the airport’s status “and to gather help, support and ideas” about how to sustain the facility. The supervisor will make the trip as well.

In other airport news, the Town Board approved Ray Scollin’s proposal to create a citizens’ airport committee to “think outside of the box” and help town officials brainstorm ways to make the Adirondack Regional Airport more financially stable.

“The purpose of the committee is to look at the airport from a perspective other than from within the town government,” Scollin said. “Our focus would be to review current operational practices as they relate to cost.”

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