Airport Sale Almost Complete

Collingwood Council has voted in favour of proceeding with the sale of the Collingwood Regional Airport.

C2018-19 Sale of the Collingwood Regional Airport

THAT Staff Report C2018-19, recommending that Council authorize the sale of the Collingwood Regional Airport, and enact the necessary by-law to authorize the execution of a Purchase and Sale Agreement once the agreement is in a form and content to the satisfaction of the CAO and our Solicitor with such changes as they may consider reasonable, be approved.

THAT By-law No. 2018-061, being a By-law to authorize the sale of the Collingwood Regional Airport, be enacted and passed this 23rd day of July, 2018.

Clerk Sara Almas talked to Council about how the Request For Proposals was assessed.

“The RFP was broken down on two components that were based on price at 60 percent and the qualitative responses were given a 40 percent rating in the evaluation process. Council did declare the property surplus in September of last year. In reviewing the matter with our solicitor in the fall after that decision was made it was recommended the use of consultants, so we retained the services of Ernst & Young who have specialized expertise basically in large divestitures of such assets.”

Almas said the Town did receive three submissions through the request for offers that was issued back in April. The Town has been negotiating with the highest ranked bidder.

Director, Public Works and Engineering Brian MacDonald talked to Council about the 40 percent assessment for the non-price elements.

“The Airport objectives in our request for offers includes parameters of maintaining it as a publicly accessible airport for a minimum of ten years and that the owner had demonstrated their ability to operate an airport and the infrastructure of that nature and the airport be managed commercially viable in the long term as well.”

Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson said the airport is important both locally and regionally but it needs to be run by a company that can inject funds necessary for the airport to successfully move forward.

“This has been a large issue for this Council the prevailing context of the discussion has been the lack of a business plan that really makes this a viable venture for our community, operating an airport that is in another jurisdiction with approximately $200,000.00 in losses per year and while we recognize that this is an important local and regional asset it’s just not something I think that myself I can support operating going forward at tax payers expense and we’re trying to find a way to protect that asset, to give it the wings it needs to fly and find someone who can put in the capital investments. “
Saunderson said the winning bidder has impressed council by providing an extensive business plan to run the airport successfully.

Mayor Sandra Cooper declared a conflict according to Collingwood Council’s Code of Conduct and excused herself from the discussion and vote.

Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson and Councillors Mike Edwards, Kathy Jeffery, Tim Fryer, Cam Ecclestone and Bob Madigan voted in favour.

Councillors Deb Doherty and Kevin Lloyd voted against.

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