Spanos: Airport Still Eligible For Funding

MAYVILLE At Monday night’s meeting of the Public Facilities Committee, George Spanos said he wanted to ease the minds of Chautauqua County travelers concerned about the Jamestown Airport.

Spanos, director of Public Facilities and current acting manager of county parks and airports, announced the names of two companies vying to take the place of current air carrier Silver Airways.

“The most important thing is that service will continue with Silver, for now,” Spanos said.

Silver, which announced in February it would no longer provide service to and from Jamestown, must continue until another carrier is in place. At the very latest, Silver will remain until Oct. 1.

Boutique Air and Sun Air have submitted bids to provide Essential Air Service. County officials selected one, but have not announced which of the two will fill Silver’s shoes.

The decision is up to the Department of Transportation, which will receive information on May 28 from Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan about the preferred provider.

In the subsequent weeks, the DOT will relay their decision.

Both airlines fly smaller planes, which is suitable for Jamestown’s lower passenger numbers. Boutique’s headquarters are in San Francisco, while Sun the bigger of the two companies is based out of Dania Beach, Fl.

“It could be an eight or nine passenger plane,” Spanos said.

Chuck Nazzaro, D-Jamestown, asked about passenger numbers and minimum ridership in order for the county to receive federal EAS funding.

“With those lower numbers of passengers on these planes, is it going to be difficult to meet passenger counts?” he asked.

Spanos said although it is difficult, with three flights per day, the minimum passenger count will make Jamestown eligible for the funding.

Sun and Boutique operate under the EAS program, which is administered by the DOT. Pittsburgh will be the new company’s connecting hub.

Current flights booked with Silver to and from Cleveland will be available through the end of September.

In other matters, a motion was approved by the committee to install bike racks donated by the Chautauqua County Health Network in four of the county’s CARTS buses.

The resolution revolves around improving the health and wellbeing of the community by providing transportation options to citizens, Spanos said.

For example, a bicyclist could ride to Mayville on a CARTS bus and take a scenic route back on their bike.

“This is very metropolitan,” said Ann Abdella, executive director of the health network.

Other efforts to improve bicycle travel were discussed as well, including a resolution to provide $150,000 of county money to the Mayville Lucy Trail in Celoron. Another amount of $80,000 was approved and designated for the Mayville Lakeside Pedestrian and Bicycle Path, a five-phase project eligible for federal funding upon apportionment of the costs of the project.

The Lucy Trail will connect Jamestown and Celoron along Jones and Gifford Avenue.

Resolutions will be voted on by the full County Legislature on May 28 at 6:30 p.m.

in the legislative chambers of the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.