$50K in funding approved for Tri¬State Aeroplex
By JOSEPHINE MENDEZ, The Herald Dispatch Dec 9, 2016 HUNTINGTON
The Cabell County Commission on Thursday committed $50,000 to help complete a development at Huntington Tri-State Airport aimed at attracting new businesses and jobs. The money was requested by the Tri-State Airport Authority for what it has called the Tri-State Aeroplex, a 95 acre parcel of land at the airport being set aside for economic development. The county's money would be used to help pay for the final leg of utility improvements on the land.
"When I came there eight years ago, I noticed that we have all our eggs in one basket with commercial air service and we really need to diversify our financial portfolio by bringing in more tenants," Tri-State Airport Director Jerry Brienza said. About $2.5 million in infrastructure improvements, including adding several utilities such as sewer, fire water, potable water and fiber, were recently completed on the 95acre parcel, but Brienza said there are still $422,000 worth of utility improvements that have yet to be completed. Brienza said the airport is in the process of marketing the land to outside companies, but the airport still needs additional funds to complete the installation of gas lines, electrical upgrades and communication services. Brienza said he has reached out to other entities for funding but is hoping that if the airport can sign a major company or convince an organization to base its national headquarters at the Aeroplex, other smaller firms will follow, which will help in securing the needed funds for improvements. "It's just one of those things an airport manager dreams about," he said. "I am just elated and obviously I want to see the first building go up that's going to be an emotional moment for me." Brienza said he anticipates the Aeroplex will be a place for companies to build maintenance and repair facilities, as well as avionic shops and aircraft paint shops. There also will be room for many private hangars for aircraft storage.
Commissioners Anne Yon and Nancy Cartmill both voted in favor of allocating $50,000 in funds obtained for the county's economic development levy for the Tri-State Aeroplex. $2.5 million in infrastructure improvements were recently completed on the 95 acres parcel. Airport Director Jerry Brienza said the airport can now begin the process of marketing the land to outside companies. "I can't think of anything better happening right now than what is happening at the airport, which is absolutely necessary for economic development," Cartmill said.