SOUTH GLENGARRY, Ontario – Frank Prevost, Mayor of South Glengarry said he was open to renegotiating the governance agreement for the Cornwall Regional Airport.
The airport is governed jointly between the Township of South Glengarry and the City of Cornwall. The agreement to manage the airport is more than 30-years-old and both sides feel that it is time for an update.
The City of Cornwall in particular has concerns about the fairness of the governance of the airport and the amount each side pays to support the service.
“I’ve been sitting on the commission for a little while, and something has to change,” said Cornwall Councillor Eric Bergeron at a Cornwall Council meeting on Aug. 26. “I think we have governance issue. We own 50 per cent of the airport, but contribute 85 per cent of the cost. I would want to see that whatever percentage you own is your percentage of your vote.”
The City of Cornwall pays 85 per cent of the airports annual budget, while the Township of South Glengarry pays 15 per cent. The township and the city have equal pay on the airport’s governing commission, additionally, some Cornwall Councillors raised the issue that South Glengarry collects all of the property taxes on the airport.
Despite their concerns, the City of Cornwall voted 8-3 to name the Cornwall Regional Airport as an important public service, a sign that South Glengarry welcomed as a signal the city will continue to work with them as a partner.
“I’m glad to see that they voted to move forward with the airport,” said Mayor Prevost, who chairs the Airport Commission.
Prevost explained however, that he had yet to hear from the City of Cornwall about when they would want to meet to begin negotiations, but did say that six years ago, South Glengarry had already expressed a willingness to work on the file with Cornwall.
“We are prepared to sit down with the city and renegotiate this,” Prevost said. “We see a benefit for the City of Cornwall and the Township of South Glengarry in the airport.”