Airport manager seeking a larger subsidy from city

Published 11:42 pm Sunday, January 13, 2008

By Staff
Council will consider subdivision plat, plans for townhouse project
By MIKE VOSS, Contributing Editor
During its meeting Monday, Washington’s City Council will consider whether to increase the city’s subsidy to the FBO at Warren Field Airport.
On Jan. 16, 2007, the city entered into a contract with Tradewind Aviation, which is owned by Thomas Dolder. The contract included a provision requiring the city to provide a $50,000 subsidy to Tradewind Aviation to serve as the fixed-base operator for the airport for one year.
The memorandum includes no other information regarding the existing contract or Dolder’s request for the city to consider increasing its subsidy to Tradewind Aviation.
During a council meeting in November 2007, a report on Tradewind Aviation’s operations at the airport and its subsidy request were briefly discussed.
At that meeting, Councilman Archie Jennings said the city should not be asked to subsidize every operation at the airport. The council postponed further discussion of the report and request until the next month. At the council’s December 2007 meeting, City Manager James C. Smith told the council that Tradewind Aviation incurred a small loss in its services and enterprise activities at the airport. Smith said then he would give a full report on Tradewind Aviation’s subsidy request at the council’s meeting on Monday.
The airport, now owned solely by the city, used to be co-owned by the city and Beaufort County.
In other business, the council will consider whether to approve the preliminary subdivision plat and site plan — with conditions — for Harbourside Townehomes.
Last month, the Planning Board voted 5-1 to recommend the council approve the preliminary plat and site plan with the conditions the board attached to them. Harbourside Townehomes is a proposed multi-family residential project planned for part of the former Park Boat Co. site off U.S. Highway 17 between Washington and Chocowinity.
The project calls for the construction of 22 townhouses, which will front on a private drive to be maintained by a homeowners association. The project is adjacent to Paradise Creek, which provides boats access to the Tar River. The project includes a stormwater bio-retention pond.
The conditions recommended by the Planning Board include, but are not limited to, allowing the city to use the project’s boat ramp during emergencies, the project’s water/sewer plans must be approved by the city prior to construction of the project getting under way and roll-type curbs must be used throughout the project.
The project does not meet minimum road-width requirements of the state’s fire code, according to a list of comments made by city departments that reviewed the project plans. The project’s street widths, as designed, do not comply with standards used by the city, according to the list.
Plans also call for a dry stack boat storage facility to be built on another piece of the former Park Boat Co. site.
The council meets at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St.
For more information on other business the council is expected to conduct Monday, see Monday’s Washington Daily News.