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10-12-05 Lightning hits hangar, phone lines, pumps

By Janie Southard

  NEW KNOXVILLE -- A recent lightning strike affected some facilities at the Neil Armstrong Airport -- again.

  Airport Manager Gary Katterheinrich said lightning is not all that unusual but this was a "weird hit."

  Tuesday night at the regular board meeting of the Auglaize County Airport Authority, he told board members the strike hit a hangar and traveled to phone lines, the fuel and water pumps and the fuel system.

  "We were on manual operation about 2-1/2 week, but no inventory was lost," he said adding insurance will cover some of the damage but he doesn't yet have figures.

  All operations are back up and running smoothly. However, there is another challenge at hand: gas prices.  Katterheinrich said help is on the way at least as far as annual fuel supplier fees are concerned.

  "Our current supplier charges fees of $30 a month and $150 per year in addition to transaction fees. Texaco has no fees and does not even require a contract," he explained adding he's still checking on the situation and will report more later.

  Gas prices as of Tuesday were $4.25 plus sales tax for Jet A fuel.

  "We're about a dollar cheaper than OSU (airport in Columbus) but a little higher than Lakefield (in Montezuma)," he said.

  Siefring & Associates reported financial information showing revenue for September 2005 of $17,906 and operating expenses of $11,937 for a net income of $5,980.

  The net is much higher than September 2004, but that month was down due to ongoing construction at the airport.


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