Stephenville councilor ‘confused’ over status of airport sale, as city approves $50,000 grant
A Stephenville councilor expressed confusion over who owns the airport in the city, as he and his colleagues voted to approve a $50,000 contribution to keep the facility running.
“I’m just a little confused at this point,” the adviser said. Lenny Tiller said at Thursday night’s public town council meeting.
Tiller pointed to several online references that indicate the Dymond group of companies owns the operation, and it was renamed Stephenville Dymond International Airport.
He said there are Twitter and LinkedIn accounts using the rebranded name. Tiller noted that the airport’s website directs inquiries to the Dymond Group’s LinkedIn page.
However, the Stephenville Airport Corporation issued a statement in January saying he still owns the facility. There has been no official announcement since that a deal has been signed.
“There’s a loophole here where the public domain says the airport was bought and renamed,” Tiller said.
“And it’s on several things, it’s on the website, it’s on the airport website itself, and it’s a pretty scary thing.”
Tiller said it was not the fault of the airport or the Dymond Group, but that it was difficult to vote on the distribution of taxpayers’ money.
Mayor Tom Rose said the money will go to the Stephenville Airport Corporation to keep the facility running.
“It’s 100%. The bank accounts and the operation are still in the hands of the airport authority, until the conditions are met,” Rose said in response to Tiller.
“Great comment. It’s a big case. A big deal. And fingers crossed that it all works out for everyone’s benefit.”
The vote on the $50,000 grant passed unanimously. Some $30,000 of that total is allocated to operations, with the remaining $20,000 going to a Winnipeg company under a long-standing contract to provide airport management and security management services.
Ambitious plans announced last September
A recent CBC News investigation raised questions about some of the Ottawa-based Dymond Group’s past public comments about its business plans.
Last September, President and CEO Carl Dymond announced ambitious proposals to reinvigorate the struggling airport on Newfoundland’s west coast.
This included a $200 million cash investment from the private sector, the manufacture of massive cargo drones, the return of regular passenger service and the creation of thousands of jobs.
A due diligence period was completed at the end of December. But the case is still not closed.
At Thursday’s council meeting, the mayor stressed that the intention of the binding agreement signed last year is to see the airport sold to the Dymond Group.
He said the lawyers were doing the final work to shut it down.
“It’s not like buying a car or buying a house or buying a convenience store, it’s an important file,” Rose said.
The Council has no direct role in this process. But the mayor said there would be benefits if it materialized.
“Our goal is to have someone else run this airport so that it can create more jobs than we have been able to do, maybe attract more business, do aerospace and start paying taxes to the taxpayers of Stephenville,” Rose said. the board meeting.