Airport, election board request funds

First Posted: 2/5/2015

LIMA — With 2015 now in full swing, the time has come for various county agencies to make their yearly case for capital improvement funding to the Allen County Commissioners. Capital improvement funds are separate from the general fund in what while general funds cover everyday expenses, such as salaries and benefits, capital improvement is dedicated to building and equipment expenditures. Both the Allen County Board of Elections and the Allen County Airport Authority met with commissioners Thursday for that purpose.

Mark Vernik, deputy director for the board of elections, outlined a purchase order for two Dell Optiplex 7010 computers to be used in vote tabulations. With equipment and installation, both computers come with a price tag of just over $5,100.

“Instead of asking for them out of the general fund, we talked about it being a possible capital expenditure, which would save general fund money,” Vernik said. “It seemed like the wise way to go.”

Board president Jon Neuman and the rest of the airport authority are trying to secure $44,342, the required 10 percent match for an airport capital improvement grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Right now, we’re looking at putting in a storage building to house our snow removal equipment,” Neuman said.

Just under 10 percent of those funds would help pay for a mandated environmental study, as well.

“We have to make sure there are no deer or geese out in the area that could be impacted,” Neuman said.

Neuman and the other board members emphasized the economic impact the airport brings to the county, with businesses looking for the best travel infrastructure possible when it comes to choosing locations.

“We have a sign at the airport that says, ‘Pave a mile of road and you can go a mile, but pave a mile of runway and you can go anywhere,’” Neuman said. “Businesses want to have something in place where executives can come in and leave in short order.”

The commissioners have not yet scheduled any approvals of capital improvement requests.

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