WILMINGTON — At its first meeting of the year, the Clinton County Port Authority welcomed new staff, approved a consulting contract and received updates from board members, staff, its real estate agent and the director of airport operations.
Two of the port’s business items include preparing the Wilmington Air Park, which the port owns, for future flights and the port for future business opportunities.
Jim Osborne, director of airport operations at LGSTX Services, said LGSTX is still working toward making the air park a Category III air park that could take airplanes in most weather and visibility conditions. He added that LGSTX wants to position the air park so it’s ready to take all manner of clients and flights.
As for business opportunities, the port approved a contract with H.J. Umbaugh & Associates for consulting and financial advisory services.
Dan Evers, the port’s executive director, said that as the port contemplates and pursues opportunities for development and capital improvement, the board may wish to consider different financial options to accomplish those goals.
“H.J. Umbaugh & Associates can provide us some of the insight, analysis, structural and cost-modeling scenarios for review and consideration as we look at those options,” Evers said. “We feel that that’s a sound investment in our ability to take a 360 (degree) view of options and opportunities as they come before us.”
The contract won’t exceed $5,000, would retain the firm and would provide 16 hours of consulting.
Evers said that the contract is ongoing, so opportunities could be pursued later, even if some are passed over initially.
The port’s board also:
• Welcomed Evers as the port’s new executive director and Denise Kuntz as Evers’ executive assistant. Evers was hired in September to replace Kevin Carver, who stopped working for the port at the end of December. Evers praised Kuntz, who previously worked for ABX Air and Wilmington College. Kuntz said she was excited and interested to work for the port. Kuntz was hired mid-December.
• Received a financial report from board member Larry Laake. Laake said 2015 wound up as expected, though both revenues and expenses were lower than the board initially estimated at the beginning of 2015. The port ended 2015 with almost $3.3 million in cash, down from the $3.7 million with which it began 2015. Those expenses include placing $675,000 into a budget reserve.
• Received a report from David Lotterer, senior associate with Jones Lang LaSalle and the port’s real estate agent. Lotterer said that winter is usually quiet but December had been “uncharacteristically busy.” Lotterer said he responded to requests for information, conducted tours, explored potential facility improvements and created proposals and had office, manufacturing, aviation, logistics and education prospects.
• Lotterer also said the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals expressed interest in having an event at the air park, possibly in late August to mid-September.
• Assistant Director Beth Huber reported on different events that occurred at the air park. Among them, Huber said customs officials toured the air park and discussed the possibility of having international flights in and out of the air park. Huber also said staff discussed possible expansion with Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services.
• Met in executive session to discuss employment, conferences with an attorney and to consider information that is not a public record.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.