Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fiscal Court To Discuss Airport Measure

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Brandon Roberts, public information officer for Pike County, says Pike County Fiscal Court officials could vote Monday on a measure asking that $1 million in multicounty coal severance be directed to obtaining commercial air service at the Pikeville-Pike County Airport. Luke Schmidt, a consultant hired by the Pikeville-Pike County Airport Commission, City of Pikeville and Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, says the $1 million is just one part of the expected funding package, and it requires at least three of the affected counties to agree to the allocation. Schmidt says two airline carriers, which meet the project goals, are interested in serving Pikeville, but starting a new service or adding to an existing service is an expensive proposition. In order to fulfill that need, Schmidt says the airport has obtained a $750,000 federal grant, and expects to begin a “travel bank” when the project is further along. In the travel bank plan, local businesses and organizations will invest an amount of money into the bank, which will be returned to them when they buy tickets with the airline. If a company invests $5,000 in the travel bank, then the first $5,000 they spend on airline tickets with the carrier over two years will be refunded.