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April 24, 2024

“Good Ole Boys” derail vote on Airport Main Hangar lease extension –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On February 10, 2016


During the Edgar County Board Meeting this morning, the board heard public comments as required by the Open Meetings Act.

One of the commenters was a local attorney who stated he was representing “several individuals” who desired to bid on leasing the main airport hangar at the airport.

They are asking the board to place the lease out to bid.

He used the General County Airport and Landing Field Act for justification as to why they believed the county was required to bid the lease out to the highest bidder.

The problem with their opinion, in our opinion, is that the statute does not require placing it our for bidding.

62 ILCS 40/6 is the statute he referenced, the General County Airport and Landing Field Act, Section 6, which has not changed since 1941.

Sec. 6. The county board of every county has the power (1) to lease all or any part of such an airport, landing field, facilities, and other structures, and fix and collect rentals therefor, (2) to fix, charge, and collect rentals, tolls, fees, and charges to be paid for the use of the whole or any part of such an airport or landing field, buildings, or other facilities, (3) to make contracts for the operation and management of such an airport, landing field, or other air navigation facilities, and (4) to provide for the use, management, and operation of such an airport, landing field, or air navigation facilities through lessees thereof, or through its own employees, or otherwise. However, no lease for the operation or management of such an airport, landing field, or air navigation facilities shall be made for more than one year except to the highest and best bidder, after notice of the lease or contract has been given by at least one publication, made at least one week before the date of the lease or contract, in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county.
(Source: Laws 1941, vol. 1, p. 463.)

The underlined part is what they were referring to, but fail to realize that the lease in question was not for “operation or management” of an airport, landing field, or air navigation facility. It is for the “use” of the main hangar.

Clearly, the only provision requiring bidding is for the “operation and management”, and then only of the contract is for more than one year. “Operation and management”, if not provided by the airport owner, the county in this case, would generally be bid out to a “Fixed Base Operator”, or “FBO”, who would assume operational control and management control of the airport and its operations. Edgar County has not gone this route and maintains its own control and management of the airport.

County Board Member Mike Heltsley should come out against this push and write another letter to the editor, as it places a “hardship” on the county, causes “utterly useless spending” and is designed to “scale back public services” and “bring down the airport”… just kidding, we have no expectation Heltsley would hold his “good ole boys” to the same standard he holds everyone else, after all, that’s how “good ole boy” systems operate.

The board decided to table the vote for another date.

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  • Wes
    Posted at 13:08h, 10 February

    So you are against the county putting the hangar lease up for bid? I’m confused by your ” good ole boy ” reference then. Keeping the leasing a secret, in essence is what it sounds like was going on, sounds more like “good old boy” actions than wanting to have the hangar bid out. I’m sure the current lessee appreciated not having to compete with anyone for a new lease. Are you sure you have the right good old boys?

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 13:20h, 10 February

      The good ole boy reference was towards an Edgar County Board member who proudly stated he was one.
      Are we against putting it out for bid? NO!
      Is it required? No!
      Do we think the “good ole boys” that used to control the airport would put it out for bid if they already had the lease? NO!
      That is what we said.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 13:27h, 10 February

      Who said anything about keeping the lease a secret? Leases are public information.

  • AirTransportNew
    Posted at 13:49h, 10 February

    It happen today: “Good Ole Boys” derail vote on Airport Main Hangar lease extension – – Edg… What do you think?

  • franklin
    Posted at 09:11h, 14 February

    to table is not derail

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 13:51h, 14 February

      Derail: “obstruct (a process) by diverting it from its intended course” google