March 6, 2013 · 2 Comments
EDGAR CO. (ECWd) –
While driving past the Edgar County Airport a couple of days ago, I noticed something inside of what they call the “Ag Buildings” and decided to check them out to see what was inside.
All of what is discussed below was initiated when Chris Patrick was the chairman of the Edgar County Airport “Advisory” Board, and still continues today.
FOIA Requests Ignored
In what has become common practice for the Airport in recent months, ignoring or refusing to answer FOIA request tops the list. On February 8, 2013, I served 2 FOIA requests on the Edgar County Airport seeking the following information:
-Rent receipts for a particular named individual for the past 12 months.
-Rent receipts for the past 12 months for the people storing hay/straw and hay wagon in the T-Hangar on Edgar County Airport Property.
I did mention T-Hangar, but these are actually stored in the “Ag Building”, and being the only place where these items are stored, the FOIA Officer, Jimmy Wells, could understand the information I was looking for. Both requests were ignored.
Additional FOIA Request
On March 4, 2013, I submitted another FOIA request seeking information on the name of the owner of the old Chevy pickup truck stored in the barn, name of the person leasing space in the barn, rent receipts for that space, and a copy of the lease for that space. Time will tell if that request is ignored also.
UPDATE: Received an answer from Jimmy Wells on the pickup truck – he CONFIRMED there is NO RENT being charged to the owner of the truck for storing it in the barn. Yet another instance of FREE RENT! Lost income to the airport – Stealing of a public asset every month!
From all appearances, the open faced building with the straw and wagon in it (pictured below) had an agreement with an individual to use it rent-free for three years, ending in April 2012, in exchange for repairs to the building. This was a perfectly acceptable agreement and good for both parties involved – except that rent has not been collected since the expiration of the agreement. This means the Airport, and more importantly YOU the residents of Edgar County have been footing that bill since May of 2012 because Chris Patrick and Jimmy Wells have refused to collect rent on the space.
The other building, an old barn (pictured below) just east of the open faced building, has an old Chevy pickup truck stored in it that belongs to an employee of the airport. This truck used to be stored inside the main hangar until the hangar was remodeled and the truck was moved. I do not know how many years ago it was moved, or whether rent is paid for the space in the barn – but if this goes like standard practice in other airport dealings, this is free storage space also. UPDATE: Received an answer from Jimmy Wells on the pickup truck – he CONFIRMED there is NO RENT being charged to the owner of the truck for storing it in the barn. Yet another instance of FREE RENT! Lost income to the airport – Stealing of a public asset every month!
While the rent may be minimal for one of the spaces, when you add them up together it becomes a more substantial loss to the people of Edgar County. Now it is time to see if property taxes are billed to the individuals using that space, but that will be another article.
As you can see in the pictures below, several environmental hazards (pictured below) are present in the “Ag Buildings” including the storage of old tires, and drums of unidentified materials. This needs dealt with as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: This article was not intended to instruct anyone to bring their junk to the airport, but rather an observation of what has already happened…