Airport Must Become Self-Supporting, Task Force Says

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The Mayor's Airport Task Force Chairman Dick Mumma told the Payson Town Council Thursday that the airport needs a new direction so it will no longer be a drain on the town's budget.

That new direction, he said, should include the formation of the Payson Regional Airport Authority.

The Payson Regional Airport Authority would be led by a panel of five to seven unpaid directors.

Because it would be a regional authority, the task force chairman said he would prefer that some of the members be from outside Payson.

He said an updated airport master plan with long-range goals is needed, and added the Payson Airport has to be self-supporting.

With an authority, he said, the airport could become a real economic engine.

"The bottom line is we are not asking you for more money," Mumma said. "We are going to save you money."

Town Manager Fred Carpenter wanted to know what the insurance implication would be to the town if the airport were to be run by the authority.

Task force member Jim Garner said insurance will be an issue because the town has to protect its assets, while the authority would have to protect theirs.

Carpenter said the town has a few employees who work at the airport, and mentioned the town would need to take care of them.

Mumma and Carpenter said the hope is to have a lease in place by July 1, but the town manager said issues may come up to make that impossible.

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