WRPA OKs Severance for Former Airport Director Dan Dickten

WRPA OKs Severance for Former Airport Director

VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Ohio – The board of the Western Reserve Port Authority Wednesday formally approved a severance agreement with former aviation director of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport Dan Dickten, who resigned in April.

Under the agreement, Dickten would be paid three months’ salary that begins with his resignation date, which was April 23, said John Moliterno, executive director of the port authority.

“That was in deference to the time he spent as our airport manager,” Moliterno said. “It was gracious on behalf of the board to do that.”

Dickten earned $95,481 annually, which equates to $7,956.75 per month and a total severance of $23,870.25 for three months. He served as aviation director for eight years.

Moliterno said the operations and security supervisors are managing the daily operations of the airport, since there are no longer commercial flights from Youngstown-Warren. Once the airport gets closer to returning to commercial service, then the board will aggressively search for Dickten’s replacement.

“As we get busier, we’ll have more needs,” he said.

The board also approved measures related to the purchase and renovation of The Harshman Building, 107 Champion St. in downtown Youngstown.

The board approved borrowing up to $952,000 from an unnamed bank to purchase and renovate the building. Eastern Gateway Community College is expected to sign a lease to occupy the first floor and basement of the building. The college wants to move in by Dec. 1, said Anthony Trevena, director of economic development at the port authority.

Once a lease is signed, the port authority would move forward with the loan and purchase and renovate the space, Trevena said. The purchase price for the building is $350,000, $40,000 of which would be returned in an escrow account.

Trevena said the port authority would use $218,000 of its own money toward the project, but $100,000 of that would be reimbursed by the State of Ohio.

Once the Eastern Gateway lease is firmed up, renovations could start on the first floor and basement, Trevena said.

Another tenant is considering the second floor of the building, he said. However, renovations to that space would not begin until that tenant is signed.

On Wednesday, the board approved selecting Brock Construction of North Lima for the renovation work. Brock submitted the low bid of $570,900 for the project.

In another matter, the board was informed of the potential of securing a portion of $1 billion in Federal Aviation Administration grant monies that would be made available to smaller, non-hub airports, such as Youngstown-Warren for priority projects, across the country.

Randy Partika, project manager and development engineer for the port authority, said the grant program would not require any local matching funds.

Should the airport secure any grant money from the program, the funds would most likely be used to support a paving project for the airport’s runway, he said.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.