Airport Authority receives check from Drag Race Assoc., debates rent increases

Photo by Zach D’Amico - Tom Catalone, of the Drag Race Association, third from left, presented a $10,000 check to the St. Marys Area Airport Authority during its monthly meeting on Monday. The June 16 drag race at the St. Marys Municiple Airport drew 1,200 visitors and 119 racers. Catalone said the event raised roughly $12,000.
Zach D'Amico
Staff Writer

A $10,000 check was presented to the St. Marys Area Airport Authority during its monthly meeting on Monday.
Tom Catalone presented the check to board members on behalf of the St. Marys Drag Race Association. The donation was made possible by the June 16 drag race which was held at the St. Marys Municipal Airport.
Catalone commented on another successful event which drew around 1,200 visitors, 119 racers and roughly $12,000 at the gate.
"There were no accidents, no problems over the whole day. So, it was a pretty good day," Catalone said.
Airport manager Joe Kerchinski said that he was "very happy" with how the June drag race unfolded.
"These guys did an excellent job. They were very professional," Kerchinski said.
Excessive exhaust smoke from the semi trucks was the only concern that board members raised. However, Catalone said that the semi trucks were a "crowd pleaser" and will return for the Aviation Festival and car show on Aug. 18.
In new business, board members argued at length over a proposed 10 percent hangar rent increase.
Board member Ned Jacobs is in favor of the increase to keep up with expenses such as payroll, taxes and utilities. Board members also noted that local storage rental costs are much higher than what the airport currently charges.
For more on this story, see the Wednesday, July 10 edition of The Daily Press.