Port approves $50K loan


WILMINGTON — The Clinton County Port Authority tentatively authorized a $50,000 loan for Weathervane Drycleaners.

That authorization is pending the approval of the Revolving Loan Fund Committee and its coordinator, Scott Holmer. The U.S. Economic Development Agency pulled its funding for the port’s RLF. The Ohio Development Services Agency said it would help meet any current obligations, including this $50,000 loan, until the end of June.

“I’m attempting to move this forward as expeditiously as possible,” said Kevin Carver, executive director of the port. “We would request your approval of this loan, pending a positive review from the Revolving Loan Fund Committee … and, pending a positive recommendation of the Revolving Loan Fund Coordinator (Scott Holmer).”

Holmer said he did a cursory review and said the application meets the RLF committee’s criteria.

“Weathervane’s an established business, and cash flows, based on financials, would support this,” said Holmer. “Most importantly, job creation and retention would be around five. … My initial review looks good.”

Holmer said the loan could have up to a 10-year term with interest around 2.75 percent.

Port members Ed Kuehn, Richard Thompson, Brent Probasco, Eric Laake and Chairman David Hockaday voted to approve the loan on those conditions. Brian Smith abstained. Hockaday said he abstained because Weathervane Drycleaners is a client of his.

Jim Finnegan, who owns Weathervane Drycleaners with his wife, said he was hoping to invest in the property and purchase a new dry cleaning machine.

Finnegan said he hoped to beautify the building, including the parking lot and new signage.

The new dry cleaning machine, he said, would improve productivity and quality while being more environmentally friendly.

“The interest rate is very appealing,” Finnegan said of the RLF program. “The loan process has been … very encouraging. It was very thorough, but not as time consuming as I thought it would have been.”

The port also:

• Received a report from Hockaday, who told other port members about his recent trip to Columbus to receive proclamations honoring WAP for its recent award as 2015 Air Port of the Year.

• Hockaday further reported that he instructed Carver to research and present his recommendation regarding hiring part-time employees to aid Carver or the future director. “The port has grown in its complexity and amount of workload that’s necessary to move forward,” Hockaday said. “Because of just not enough time for the staff to get things done, our projects … do not get done in a timely manner. And that’s not a negative, that’s just a fact of life; you only have so many hours.”

• Received a salvage report from port member Brian Smith. As of April 30, the port removed more than 7,000 tons of metal from buildings at the air park and had earned a net gain of almost $60,000.

• Approved an agreement with Dane County, Wisc., for the purchase of two used tow-behind brooms. Carver said the port provided sealed bids totaling $61,800 for both brooms and estimated another $25,000 in repairs, replacements and to transport them to Wilmington. Carver said the port was waiting to hear if it was awarded the bid.

• Authorized an agreement with Collett Sealcoating for crack filling, seal coating and striping the lane and parking areas beside and behind the air park’s administration building and to seal the overrun on a runway. Collett Sealcoating was the lowest quoted price, not to exceed $17,100.

• Received a report from Beth Huber, assistant director. Huber said port staff signed a memorandum of understanding to support United States Air Force military preparedness; she said aircraft would be using the airspace. Staff also worked on an application to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, signed agreements with the Miami Valley Sports Car Club, the Sports Car Club of America and the East Coast Timing Associations and signed an expansion agreement with Jet Maintenance Consulting Corp. to add an office.

• Carver told the port that Reddy Electric was working with the port, the USAF, and the state of Ohio to reactivate an ASR9 radar at the air park. That radar, and another one to be installed east of Hillsboro, might allow Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to be flown nearby. “It’s the belief of the air force and of the state of Ohio that we can satisfy the FAA’s concerns as to flying UAVs in that space, and do it safely, especially the smaller UAVs,” said Carver. “The (FAA’s) fear is that we’re going to have UAVs in the common airspace with manned vehicles,” and the radars might resolve those concerns for them.

• Met in executive session.

Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.