Of Airports And Agendas

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A committee of three: Commissioner Blair Couch, Prosecutor Jason Wharton, and County Administrator Marty Seufer, will spend the next week and a half considering changes to the commission's agenda policy which was just put into place last month.

Instead of conducting a business meeting two days a week, as it did for years, the commission has set aside most Thursdays to mainly discuss pending issues.

Couch recently spoke to the West Virginia Ethics Commission on its policies, including one which had been debated recently: votes on financial items.

"Since we weren't going to list all the bills we were paying, make them available to the public two days prior to the meeting," Couch said Monday. "Like for today's/Monday's meeting, to be on file in the commission office on Thursday, to allow any member of the public to review what we are signing."

A financial matter discussed Monday morning involved the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport. Manager Terry Moore recently was informed the bank with whom it has a line of credit, wants to issue a loan instead.

Moore is looking for a loan with a lower rate than what its current bank offers, but because it has little loan collateral, it wants the commission to co-sign the loan with the airport. that was something prosecutor Wharton reccommended against.

"That's not saying you can't do it. It's just that it places the county in a great deal of financial risk in doing it," Wharton said. "If they can't make the payments, you become responsible for those payments."

The airport is emerging from financial woes it suffered during the recession and the arrivals and departures of several airline carriers. Moore says getting a good loan rate would be one step toward getting the airport back on its fiscal feet.

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