Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority months behind in airport payments to city


Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority months behind in airport payments to city

OGDENSBURG — The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority is more than $60,000 behind in its payments to the city of Ogdensburg for airport police protection, owing money for security services provided by the municipality during portions of last year and this year.City officials anticipated revenues of $156,000 in the 2017 and 2018 budgets to reflect payments from the OBPA. The contract between the city and the public authority calls for the OBPA to reimburse the city for the cost of having police officers on standby at the airport when flights are leaving and departing. The security arrangement is a key requirement of operating the airport, which is used by Allegiant Air for flights to and from destinations in Florida. The airport is also used by the smaller regional carrier Cape Air.The amount owed to the city for airport security services stands at a total of $64,050, according to Ogdensburg City Manager Sarah Purdy. She said $39,650 of the total is for the months of October 2017 through December 2017. The other $24,400 in arrears is for security services provided for the months of January and February of 2018.The money owed to the city has been budgeted for this year’s fiscal spending plan to cover operating expenses related to providing airport security. As a result, any shortfall in the anticipated revenue stream creates a shortfall for the municipality.Ms. Purdy said she and other city officials are mindful of the positive economic benefit the Ogdensburg International Airport brings to the community, but she said the City Council is also keenly aware that the lag in payments from the bridge and port authority is potentially problematic for taxpayers.“First and foremost, the Ogdensburg City Council appreciates the OBPA’s vision in expanding the airport in order to bring more economic vitality to our region,” Ms. Purdy said. “Council supports the Ogdensburg airport and wants it to continue to be successful. At the same time, council is mindful of its first priority, which is to our taxpayers. For this reason, I have been in discussions with Mr. Davis regarding the OBPA’s arrears of five months, for a total of $64,050, for airport security services provided by the city.”The amount billed to the OBPA by the city per month depends on the total hours of service provided, according to Ms. Purdy.“I am confident that we will be able to work this out,” Ms. Purdy said.The current contract with the OBPA for airport security services runs through June 30, 2019.Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Director Wade A. Davis suggested he was grateful for the city’s patience in dealing with the arrears. He did not specifically answer a question regarding why the OBPA apparently struggles with cash flow.“OGS (Ogdensburg International Airport) is very grateful for the law enforcement service provided through the city under contract and we are grateful for council’s continued support,” Mr. Davis said in an email. “Operating an airport comes with significant financial obligations and the authority will engage in discussions with city management to fulfill the authority’s financial obligations.”The city entered into its original agreement with the OBPA in September 2016 to provide a police presence during flight arrivals and departures. The service officially started in October of that year. The security services are an aviation requirement, and the contract’s signing coincided with the beginning of flights in and out of the expanded facility by low-cost carrier Allegiant Air.The company has offered non-stop flights between Ogdensburg and points in Florida since October 2016.
Source: Watertown Daily Times Latest News
Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority months behind in airport payments to city

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