Sale of Collingwood Regional Airport One Step Closer
The proposed sale of the Collingwood Regional Airport by the Town of Collingwood appears to be on the runway and ready for takeoff following a meeting of the Town of Collingwood Strategic Initiatives Standing Committee on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 in the Council Chambers.
The committee proceeded In-Camera to address a matter pertaining to a proposed or pending acquisition or disposal of land for Town or Local Board purposes.
The item for discussion was the sale of the Collingwood Regional Airport.
Following the in-camera session, council returned to open-session and voted to authorize Fareed Amin, the Town of Collingwood’s Chief Administrative Officer, to work to finalize the sale details.
In a recorded vote, Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson, Councillor Tim Fryer, Councillor Mike Edwards and Councillor Cam Ecclestone voted in favour of the motion to instruct the CAO to move forward to complete the negotiation process. Councillor Deb Doherty and Councillor Kevin Lloyd voted against the motion.
Mayor Sandra Cooper declared a conflict of interest and didn’t participate in the discussion or vote.
Councillors Bob Madigan and Kathy Jeffery were absent.
Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson said the Council vote at the SIC meeting on Tuesday authorizes CAO Amin to move towards finalizing negotiations with the winning bidder to sell the Collingwood Regional Airport.
“This decision is the culmination of a lengthy process started early in this term when Council instructed the CAO at the time to explore all options with respect to the airport in an effort to mitigate the expense to our taxpayer’s of approximately $200,000 annually to operate and maintain a regional airport.”
Saunderson said he believes selling the airport rather than exposing taxpayers to a large annual operating deficit only makes sense.
“Given the inequitable cost sharing arrangement with the other municipalities (Clearview contributed $25,000 annually, Wasaga Beach approximately $11,000 and the Town of the Blue Mountains did not contribute), this annual operating deficit was not sustainable or justifiable. After a structured RFP process, the outright sale of the airport is the best option for our taxpayers and Council is working towards completing the transaction.”
The matter will be discussed again at the next regular meeting of Collingwood Town Council on July 23rd.
Last month, Town of Collingwood staff and consultant Ernst and Young was instructed to move forward with negotiations with the top bidder for the sale of the Collingwood Regional Airport.
Council made this announcement following an in-camera session at the regular meeting of Collingwood Town Council on Monday June 25th.
Mayor Sandra Cooper declared a conflict of interest and did not participate in the June 25th in-camera session pertaining to the airport.
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