Wednesday, November 21, 2007

There Is Hope Yet

The Federal Emergency Management Agency last week said it spends $1,089,350 per month to store and maintain 19,602 vacant mobile homes and travel trailers on Hope Municipal Airport property. The City of Hope collects about $25,000 monthly rent for the property, and about 75 people are currently employed at the site, where FEMA monthly payroll costs are $416,755.

Wesley Woodard, president of the Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation, said the city reaps an economic windfall comparable to the revenue generated by a small industry. This is much better than losing money every year like Fayetteville does with Drake Field.

Now here's something that Ray Boudreaux could do to justify his fat city salary and cauterize the annual operating loss of maintaining Drake Field for the jet set, still estimated at a continuing loss of tens of thousands of dollars in Mayor Coody's 2008 proposed budget. Fayetteville could submit a lower bid for trailer storage at Drake Field, since only a few wealthy corporate executives are using it anyway. We could even rent out the trailers until the city builds that golf course and those multi-million dollar homes with private runway access proposed in Ray's new $62 million Airport Master Plan.

Let's enjoy the benefits of the Bush administration's wasteful federal deficit spending instead of wasting our own local revenues in Mayor Coody's shrinking budget. Congressman John Boozman could use his enormous power and influence with George Bush to get the trailer storage contract for us instead of Hope, represented by that young Democratic Congressman Mike Ross who delivers for his constituents.

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