No airport cap removal by S. Glengarry; commission chairman accuses city of holding back agreement

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SOUTH GLENGARRY – The township won’t be removing a $10,000 cap on funding for the Cornwall Regional Airport and one councillor suggests Cornwall is holding up the process of brokering a new deal.

South Glengarry council turned down a “good faith” motion at its meeting Monday night to remove the $10,000 cap in a clause on the 1984 airport agreement between the City of Cornwall and the former Township of Charlottenburgh (now part of South Glengarry).

Cornwall council passed a similar motion Monday night but it was subject to South Glengarry’s approval.

South Glengarry Coun. Frank Prevost, chairman of the airport commission, said it was turned down for two reasons.

One is the township has additional airport costs such as administration and collecting taxes, Prevost said. The other reason is South Glengarry “doesn’t want to start ripping the agreement apart piece by piece. I think we need to look at a whole new agreement in one whole package,” Prevost stated in an interview with Cornwall Newswatch.

“Is South Glengarry prepared to remove the cap? I would suggest 99 per cent, yes,” he said.

Prevost suggests the City of Cornwall has been holding back the agreement since December and won’t give a copy to South Glengarry.

“The city has had the new agreement, my understanding, since Christmas in their hands. We have not had an opportunity to see it or view it…the agreement…so I don’t know where that stands,” Prevost told Cornwall Newswatch. “I don’t know why they are not releasing a copy to South Glengarry.”

“Interesting comment,” Cornwall CAO Norm Levac told CNW when told about Prevost’s position. “It is an agreement that the city’s been working on and we basically have a draft of it. It is nowhere near being final or anything like that. No it wasn’t (shared with South Glengarry) because it’s not complete,” Levac stated.

The city CAO said it’s “effectively complete” now. “I view it at this moment in time as a non-issue in a sense that we need to address other matters that have become more prevalent and more important (the cost sharing).”

Levac suggests the agreement was initiated by a city committee that hasn’t met yet and has been “on hold” until the cost sharing was sorted out.

“The landscape is changing as time goes on and the report that was in front of council this week was really in response to the changing landscape. It was a positive step,” Levac said.

Levac said with North Glengarry turned down the motion Monday night its also sent the timeline into question because a business plan for the airport can’t proceed.

Putting a meeting together

Levac wants to sit down with his South Glengarry counterpart, Bryan Brown, but said Brown has been away on vacation.

Frank Prevost said there was a meeting scheduled June 15 but that got cancelled. “We’ve been asking and requesting meetings with the city for a few months now in regards to meeting to resolve this issue and get it over with.”

“There was no meeting…there was a possible date…it just didn’t work out,” Levac said.

“There’s been requests from our CAO (Bryan Brown) to meet council to council but that hasn’t come yet,” Prevost said.

City council has approved that plan but a date hasn’t been picked.

The airport commission chairman believes the matter won’t get resolved until the fall.

“If everything goes well, we would like to be in a position that we get a smooth ride through budget. We can understand where we are and put together a budget package that satisfies everyone,” Levac said.

Budgets are normally put together in the fall ahead of meetings in the new year.

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