Monday, December 07, 2009

Proper Audit Trail After Demolition Sounds Improper

Audit trail looks good on paper, right? UHHUH. Does this item Airport authority seeks condemnation of building already razed seem as ludicrous to others as it seems to us? How did relatives of the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport Authority's chairman acquire anything at any time past or present at the public/private regional airport? Since when is vacant space at an airport worth nearly $200,000 of taxpayers' money? What was the original arrangement?

The most obvious concern is this: if a private citizen or business owner created a proper audit trail after the fact of acquiring something, there would be an investigation.

Looks to us like an investigation is needed on this 'proper audit trail' at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity, over in Westmoreland County.

The situation also brings up a host of questions about so-called regionalization of so-called public services not only those concerning airports of whatever size.

In Pennsylvania, authorities are autonomous once created they are subject to very little oversight by those who appoint members to the authority's board.

Deals such as this one can be made and who will look into it? Our 'regional' newspapers?

Net the Truth Online

Airport authority seeks condemnation of building already razed

The Westmoreland County Airport Authority is seeking official condemnation of an already demolished aircraft hangar owned by the family of authority Chairman Anthony M. Ferrante.

Authority Solicitor Donald Snyder filed a "declaration of taking" with the county's Court of Common Pleas on Nov. 24 as a means of confirming the taking of the leasehold interest of the building known as Hangar 14 at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity.

The building — torn down in October to improve hangar facilities and airport layout — housed 12 spaces owned and rented out by Ferrante's son, Anthony K. Ferrante, and his sister, Bernice Ferrante Lewis, both of Vandergrift, Snyder said.

Hangar 14 tenants were relocated either to rentable spaces in other buildings owned by Ferrante and Lewis or to facilities being rented out by the authority itself, said authority Executive Director Gabe Monzo.

The authority is required to hire an independent appraiser to determine the value of properties it wishes to acquire based on eminent domain guidelines, Snyder said.

Hayden Appraisal Services of Greensburg determined the property to be worth $185,000. The firm's assessment was independently reviewed by Jack Lizza, owner of Professional Real Estate Appraisal Services, also of Greensburg, Snyder said. That amount already has been paid to Ferrante and Lewis, Snyder said.

This purpose of the legal filing was to "create a proper audit trail" as it relates to the recent negotiation, Monzo said.

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