VIENNA - The board that runs the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport is trying to find a business to operate a cargo building after a grant request to buy the building failed.
"We've pinpointed a couple of prospects. It looks favorable at this point. We hope to have something concrete in two or three months," Western Reserve Port Authority Chairman Scott Lynn said after the board's monthly meeting Wednesday at the airport.
Lynn said he met Tuesday with an international company that has a satellite operation in the United States that he called "quite large."
A business could the company could buy the cargo building and lease it, or possibly have the port authority buy it and provide a long-term lease, Lynn said.
The board faces a challenge finding the money to buy the building, but Lynn said it could get "some sort of financing" if it had a long-term lease with a tenant.
The port authority learned Tuesday of the rejection of its application for an $806,250 grant through the state JobsReady economic development program.
The board sought the money as part of its $1.075 million offer to buy the former Davis cargo building from pallet and stretch wrap company Millwood Inc., which bought it in 2009.
In other action, the board:
Approved after an executive session to hire Rubenstein and Associates for not to more than $12,000 for 120 days to set up a search engine to drive visitors to the board's website, develop a strategic plan of goals for the next three to five years and provide public relations;
Agreed to borrow $470,000 from Farmers Bank to build the first of three T-hangars, which has 14 tenants already signed up, with a waiting list for the second hangar. Work is expected to start in mid-June and be completed in September;
Agreed to redirect not more than $60,000 from the board's $3.6 million bond issue from an airport lighting project to reflow natural gas to certain hangars without heat. Tenants of the new T-hangar will have the option of tapping in at their expense;
Approved a final work order change of $16,250 for parking lot paving due to higher asphalt prices, leaving the board still under its 10 percent contingency;
Learned from Lynn that Executive Director Rose Ann DeLeon is expected to return to work in about three weeks after starting treatment next week for an illness. He said she is doing "very well" at home;
Heard from Aviation Director Dan Dickten that the passenger load remained strong in March at 98.56 percent, and that Allegiant Air will mark its sixth anniversary at the airport from 4 to 6 p.m. May 17, also the day when the airline resumes flights to Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Heard from Sarah V. Lown, senior director of economic development, about negotiations with an unnamed international company based in the U.S. that serves the oil and gas industry and is seeking to consolidate operations in the area.