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Manager wants Victoria airport to be self-sufficient

By DAVID TEWES
Aug. 4, 2010 at 3:04 a.m.

Jason Milewski

PROPOSED BUDGETThe Victoria Regional Airport's proposed budget for 2011 is $2.56 million.

But manager Jason Milewski said the budget is restructured from the previous year and doesn't include such expenditures as runway repairs and runway lighting work.

The manager of the Victoria Regional Airport vowed Wednesday taxpayers would not be responsible for the cost of operating that facility.

"I want to make the airport an asset to the community," said Jason Milewski, who works for the company that oversees the airport.

He said his goal is to repay with interest any money the airport has to borrow from the county.

Milewski estimated the county would have to loan the airport about $255,000 in the coming budget year, which begins Jan. 1.

County Judge Don Pozzi said he has no problem believing the airport will eventually become self-sufficient.

"I have no doubt," he said. "I have seen things turning around out there."

The airport's proposed budget for 2011 is $2.56 million. But Milewski said the budget is restructured from the previous year and doesn't include such expenditures as runway repairs and runway lighting work.

Milewski said he's hoping to reduce the cost for water, sewer and electricity, while increasing the fair-market value for rent of airport property. He said otherwise, the taxpayers are paying the difference.

"We need to balance that so that's not the case," he said. "What the budget does is set up a structure so that when the airport is in the black, we can start returning the investment the community has put into it."

Milewski said he has cut airport expenses by $200,000 for the proposed budget. But he said he's still not sure when it will become self-sufficient.

"It may take years," he said. "But it's all about balancing our priorities."

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