Citing continued financial difficulties with the Butler County Regional Airport, the commissioners are set to fire the administrator Ron Davis on Monday.
At every budget hearing with Davis for the past several years the commissioners have shown frustration that Davis hasn’t been able to make the airport financially viable. County Administrator Charlie Young told the Journal-News when the tax budgets came in recently they knew they can no longer sustain Davis’ $93,710 annual salary.
With benefits the total general fund outlay is $110,310.
“There has been a continuing effort to meet our budget goals and we have come to the conclusion we cannot meet our budget goals with the expense we’ve had of the administrator’s position,” Young said. “We just don’t have the funding for that position at the level we’ve been paying.”
Young said general fund monies have bailed the airport out to the tune of $40,000 to $50,000 annually, up to as much as $100,000. That doesn’t even include the $155,000 in debt payments every year.
Commissioner Don Dixon said they could not allow the airport to continue to be a drain on county coffers.
“If we are not able to change the operations or change the revenue stream, we have to make the books balance,” he said. “The way to make the books balance is to cut what you can cut and the first thing you can cut is personnel.”
In the short term the county is asking the fixed base operator Cincinnati Jet, Development Director David Fehr and other staff to fill the void.
READ MORE: Frustration continues over airport budget
Dixon said for the long term they plan to go out to bid for a part-time, contracted administrator for Hogan Field.
“We’re looking at part-time contractor with no benefits at all,” Dixon said.
Davis, who has been at the airport almost 18 years, said he has no comment at this time. His termination is effective June 30.