Friday, June 12, 2015

Measure Z Payouts Include Airport Tree Cutting, After All

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 9:07 AM

click to enlarge GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
The aviation division’s gonna get some of that sweet, sweet Measure Z cashola.

In its Tuesday meeting, the Board of Supervisors bypassed the Measure Z Committee’s recommendations and awarded the division, a branch of county public works, nearly $80,000 for tree trimming.

The aviation division requested the funds in order to remain in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration guidelines about “navigable air space” at three of the county’s six airports.

The grant comes in a bit under the aviation division’s request of $84,000. In the application for funding, the division said the Measure Z funds would make up 9 percent of the $815,000 necessary to complete the tree trimming, with the rest coming from the FAA.

Measure Z, the half-percent sales tax approved by voters in 2014, is expected to raise nearly $9 million for “public safety and essential services,” and the county received dozens of applications for the funds. The board of supervisors stuck largely to the Measure Z Committee’s recommendations that most of the funding go to the county fire chiefs association, sheriff’s office and district attorney’s office, though the board shaved money off of those requests for applicants that didn’t even make the citizen advisory’s secondary list, including county code enforcement and the aviation division, according to the Times-Standard.

Tree trimming in 2014 at the California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport ran up a $145,000 tab for the aviation division, which contributed to a $428,000 deficit in the 2013-2014 year’s budget, which the division is covering through loans from its trust funds. The county is considering loans from the motor pool to cover the projected future deficit.

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Grant Scott-Goforth

Grant Scott-Goforth has been an assistant editor and staff writer for The Journal since 2013.

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