Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Leesburg Executive Airport (KJYO) fund set to be moved to general fund; council not pleased. Leesburg, Virginia

The Airport Fund for Leesburg Executive Airport may be moving to the town’s General Fund after Town Manager John Wells proposed the idea to council at their Jan. 23 work session – but not without a fight.

Council seemed up-in-arms about moving the funds to a different part of the town’s finances in order to compensate for debt the airport is facing.

“Since all funds are included in town consolidated financial statements and reports, transferring the Leesburg Executive Airport to the General Fund and airport capital projects to the Capital Projects Fund has no impact on the town’s overall financial condition,” town documents stated.

According to documents, the transfer would increase the fund revenue, appropriation, expenditures, grands, liabilities, receivables, debt service, assets and depreciation. Also, the $3 million in loans and advances to the Airport Fund would be eliminated.

“This does not have a negative impact, in fact it has positive impact on the budget,” Wells said.

The transfer would better manage the town’s budget, get more accurate reporting of the town’s budget in regards to the airport, Wells said.

“It’s going to reduce the overhead expenses,” Wells continued. “We’re going to maintain the visibility of the airport with the reporting of its revenue.”
But council members were not on board with Wells’ plan.

“Instead of the focus on the airport and its debts, and it should be paying of itself, and shinning the light on the general fund. I think that does effect the taxpayers,” Council member Tom Dunn said. “I think it goes back to the responsibility of government and I’d like to see it stay a enterprise instead of on the taxpayers. I’d rather see it stay as an enterprise zone and it needs to pay for it’s own bills.”

The Airport Fund was established as an enterprise fund by council in 1965 in order to account separately for all operating, investing and financing for airport operations and capital improvements projects, documents said.

In the past, the Airport Fund revenues and grants have been insufficient to pay for daily operations and the debt service for capital projects to maintain and improve airport infrastructure, according to documents. The documents also said that the town doesn’t see that the Airport Fund will be able to meet its financial obligations and pay debt service in the foreseeable future.

Council member Dave Butler felt the proposition made Leesburg seem more like a business than a government.

“I don’t want us to fall into the trap that we are a business, because we’re not,” Butler said. “It’s not sufficient to take the revenue that comes back to the town. If we make an investment into an airport, I don’t care if we make any fees or not.”

Council was scheduled to vote on the Airport Fund during their Jan. 24 meeting.

Source:  http://www.loudountimes.com

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