By MATT HUTCHINSON
The Williamsport Regional Airport Authority will go into 2013 with a $15,000 surplus in its operating budget.
The authority adopted the spending plan Thursday evening. It calls for revenues at about $1.15 million, according to Thomas J. Hart, authority executive director.
Hart said increased revenue from the airport’s long-term parking lot and lease fees paid by Marcellus Shale-related businesses have helped to boost the authority’s budget. Additional income from rental car fees also are contributing positively to the bottom line, he said.
Chris Logue, authority member, said the organization is benefiting from gas-related industry leases with Sooner Pipe, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and EXCO Resources.
“In this era of budget woes that we see everywhere, at least our budget is in pretty good shape,” said Mark Murawski, authority chairman.
Murawski said 2012 was a good year for the airport and the authority that oversees its operation. He reminded members that at the beginning of the year, he expected big things at the Williamsport Regional Airport.
He said the $13.6 million airport terminal reconstruction project, recruitment of a second commercial airline and addition of a new fixed-based operator – Energy Aviation – are big undertakings.
“The airport authority and staff has never been busier,” Murawski said.
He added that Gov. Tom Corbett may make an announcement in the near future about the status of transportation funding. Murawski said the state could make available new intermodal funding that would benefit the airport.
Hart also told members that owners of Energy Aviation have expressed interest in leasing the former Pennsylvania State Police helicopter hangar.
In other business, the authority agreed to sell a 1997 dump truck for $13,500. The high bid from Keith Frederick, of the Philadelphia area, was made on Municibid.com, an online site that specializes in government auctions of surplus equipment.
Authority members also received three proposals for auditing services. The bids were from Scott Stugart, of Williamsport; Brinkley Kanavy Group, of Pittsburgh; and Maillie Falconiera & Co., of Mont Clare. A finalist will be selected at a future authority meeting, Hart said.