New Business is Old Business
Town Council to Revisit Purchase of Sikorsky Airport in Closed Meeting
July 11th Town Council Meeting
The Stratford Town Council will conduct a regularly scheduled meeting on July 11, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.in Council Chambers of Stratford Town Hall.
The Public Forum will begin at 6 p.m. Those wishing to speak need to sign up before 6 p.m
Under New Business was the following:
7.4 Purchase of Sikorsky Memorial Airport – Executive session requested
In May the Sikorsky Memorial Airport Commission voted on to move forward with plans to sell the airport to the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) for $10 million, the maximum amount the city could retain from a sale of the airport as established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which states that no entity can pay more for the airport than what has been lost by Bridgeport.
The sale price is contingent upon Bridgeport being able to prove under FAA guidelines that the city over the years has spent that much out of its operating budget, excluding airport revenues, to keep Sikorsky running.
During the May meeting, the commission heard presentations from both the CAA and the town of Stratford over the sale of the airport before ultimately voting in favor of the CAA, with Mayor Laura Hoydick — the only town official on the commission — the lone vote against. Hoydick was accompanied by State Senator Kevin Kelly, who she introduced as the Town Attorney.
Both Hoydick and Kelly announced in March “If the City of Bridgeport is interested in selling the airport, then it is the time for the Town of Stratford to take ownership of the Sikorsky Memorial Airport. We will ensure capable management commensurate with the concerns of the region and surrounding community, and the sensitive environmental assets located there. The future of Stratford and the future of the airport are intertwined, and Stratford would like the fair and proper opportunity to direct this shared destiny.”
According to Hoydick the intention of the town was to purchase the airport and lease it out to a professional operator, Stratford’s bid for the airport was $13 million.
After the May meeting, Hoydick questioned the legality of the process following the vote. “It’s unfortunate that the airport commission didn’t vote to advance Stratford to the city council to purchase the airport,” Hoydick said. “I’m not really sure if this process was legal. It does not seem to me that there was any kind of formal proposal process and I would have thought that we, as the body, would have followed the governor’s lead — what he suggested that we do a public RFP (request for proposal). But that was not the way that this was proposed.”
So Why Is The Sale Of The Airport On The Agenda?
There are two scenarios:
- Stratford wants to raise the purchase price
- Can you say lawsuit?