Now you had nothing to do with this colossal error, compounded by the Authority's refusal to pay. You can thank Executive Director George Doughty for that. But we all may end up paying the tab.
The Airport Authority has been around since 1946, believe it or not. An unwieldy, 19-member Board of Governors, oversees operations. Ten are from Lehigh County and nine from Northampton. They administer Lehigh Valley International Airport, located on 2,629 acres in five different municipalities. They also manage Queen City Airport (Allentown) and Braden Airpark (Forks Tp).
At one time, Lehigh and Northampton County provided financial assistance to the Authority in the form of direct grants and guaranteeing bonds. Then, the Federal Aviation Administration stepped in to provide grants for capital programs, which has saved both counties hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But who's going to pay that $26 million judgment? Looks like it might be you. I'm told the Authority will be asking both Counties to guarantee a bond to pay for the land grab debacle. Apparently, there is no other way to pay this debt.
"Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit sniffing glue!"
What this does is put taxpayers on the hook in the event of default. It will also have a negative effect on the bond rating of both counties.
Here's my question. Why do anything? With much better airports in nearby Newark and Philly, is there really a need to have an airport here? I've seen lemonade stands that are managed better.
A year ago, both counties received an Airport Management Study, prepared by the Berger Group. Recommendations include a smaller and more interested Board. Both Execs have appointed people who are willing to stir the pot. But is it enough?