To the Editor:
I am a business owner at the Carroll County Airport and I would like to thank the public for their interest and support. Through the years we have employed 3 to 7 employees and currently are down to 3 due to declining economy and lack of support from the majority of the pilots based on the airport with unknown reasons and outlandish accusations made by members of the airport board that were listed in the paper earlier this year.
We have had very few complaints and no names given as to whom, the pilots these accusations are directed towards are. An ex-employee is supporting the current board, working on their planes and taking customers and income from our business, making it nearly impossible for our business to survive.
I have been personally subsidizing my business for past years now. The work done by the person (ex-employee) is done in hangers that barely pay rent on them and little to no insurance, allowing the work to be done at a price that is far less than my business could ever do, due to specialized insurance and higher rent that we are made to pay in our current lease.
The new lease language that is in the process of being made, further increases rent and the said specialized insurance, and then adds lawn car costs that were never in the lease before and snow removal with extra cost that is not in other hanger leases on the airport.
The new lease language also dictates the building, that is in need of slight repair such as water that comes in the doors whenever it rains causing the phone lines to short and wet spots in the hanger that make it harder to work safer, would be our problem to fix when in the past lease it was their problem. The board has been notified of these issues several times in past meetings and phone calls. They tell us they’ll fix these problems and then we never hear back from them (the board).
There is also a severe safety hazard in the form of a deep drainage ditch that becomes cover flush with water in heavier rain and flush with snow in winter, making it unnoticeable, an issue also brought to their attention. One of my customers this past winter put his wheel in the ditch, unable to see it, bottoming the car out and one of my employees had to pull the customer’s car out with his vehicle.
The airport board is using our rent money as a way to subsidize their hanger rent, keeping their hanger rents as low as they can for their own use.
Several of the board members then rent out their hanger space to other pilots and keep the profit which should be going to the county, but isn’t due to new lease agreements. I believe that the other airport hangers had a lease increase this year of about twelve dollars. Some of the board members wouldn’t even get their fuel here (at the airport) until they voted that board members get their fuel at cost, a fact that is known and somewhat unfair to other pilots, and has also been debated as compensation in other articles, something the board members are not allowed to receive.
If you want to know more, read previous letters to editors about the airport and look at the comments of the articles about the board meetings. How can we deal with a board that acts dishonest and is impossible to deal with? What is their agenda?
Leon C. Lamp
Lamp Aviation Service, Inc.