Flying High

MAYVILLE – County officials are pleased with the Tarmac Cafe at the Jamestown Airport.

Much of Monday night’s Public Facilities Committee meeting revolved around business at both Chautauqua County airports, with one resolution regarding a public hearing for a continued lease with the Jamestown Airport restaurant’s current operator.

Michelle Johnson has been operating the Tarmac Cafe since October of last year, and wants to continue.

“We are proposing an extension of the current lease,” said George Spanos, director of public facilities. “This resolution is to announce the public hearing, and then next month we will discuss the continued lease.”

John Hemmer, R-Westfield, asked if the county could go out for bids or release a request for proposals for other potential renters, to which Spanos said it would not be necessary.

A public hearing must be held for approval of the continued lease, which is currently $200 per month.

“They’ve really improved the facilities, changed the floor and tiling on their own and done renovations,” Spanos said. “Unfortunately, the airport is a little bit removed from other locations, and so we’d like to keep the rent the same until they can start making some more money.”

A two-year term would begin on Oct. 1.

“I really think that restaurant up there is an asset to the Jamestown Airport,” said Dave Himelein, R-Findley Lake. “They’ve been able to make a go of it, and they serve good food up there. If we can keep them, we should.”

Dave Wilfong, R-Jamestown, agreed.

“It’s probably one of the best vendors we’ve had there,” he said.

Chuck Nazzaro, D-Jamestown, asked County Executive Vince Horrigan if signage could be placed near the highway to guide potential patrons in the direction of the airport.

Horrigan said he would look into the matter.

In other matters, a request from the Federal Aviation Administration will require an increase of $7,425 in county funds to support a five-year layout plan at the Dunkirk Airport.

“The runway was recently extended, and this resolution is to accept a grant for the five-year airport improvement plan,” Horrigan said. “The FAA requires a survey before any further additions, and what this is doing is adding some money because the FAA has requested a Geographic Information System component.”

Spanos explained that the Geographic Information System will involve a survey of the new runway extension to make sure pilots have the required amount of visibility to land.

While $151,000 was already budgeted in the capital budget, 90 percent of the additional cost will be federally funded, 5 percent is funded by the state and the last 5 percent is a local share.

The total amount of the project will be $299,500, rather than $151,000. The total local share is $14,975. Half of that has already been budgeted.

Lastly, Beth Kresge, D-Jamestown, was appointed to the county Airport Commission.

The full County Legislature will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the legislative chambers of the Gerace Office Building.