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Jefferson County Finance Committee dissolves Tom Brouty Aircraft Service, Inc.

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The Jefferson County Finance and Rules Committee voted Tuesday to dissolve a fixed-base-operations company formerly owned by Thomas R. Brouty.

The county acquired Tom Brouty Aircraft Service in April after Mr. Brouty indicated he wished to retire and terminate a 40-year agreement established with Watertown when the city owned the Watertown International Airport near Dexter.

Fixed-base operations, which consist of hangar rentals, fuel sales and the provision of routine maintenance, are where the profit-generating component of an airport lies.

In the future, the airport either may become its own department or may be structured as an enterprise fund, according to Legislator Scott A. Gray, chairman of the Finance and Rules Committee.

Mr. Gray called the issue of how to structure the airport a “significant policy decision.”

The airport now falls under the county Highway Department. If it becomes its own department, the county may divert any profits the airport generates into the general fund, where it can be used to pay for other projects.

An enterprise fund is the closest that a government entity can resemble a private business, according to Mr. Gray. If the operation of the airport is structured this way, the airport’s revenues will support its expenses and any profits will have to remain within the enterprise fund.

Mr. Gray said that no decision should be made as to how to structure the airport until the county has one or two years of running operations under its belt.

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