Make us your home page
Instagram

Hernando learns expense of U.S. Customs facility

BROOKSVILLE — Officials affiliated with the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport have said a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility could be a marketing tool, a draw to more international commerce, and a driver for economic development.

Now, with a draft of a feasibility study ready for Thursday's Hernando County Aviation Authority meeting, they know what else to call such a facility — expensive.

Still, the report from aviation authority consultant Michael Baker Jr. Inc. stated that some communities open a facility even if it never pays for itself because its benefits go beyond the dollars and cents on a balance sheet.

The discussions about customs originated with two international air ambulance services now housed at the airport. Any airport tenant that does international business must stop at an airport with a customs office before returning home to Brooksville.

"The additional airport stopover requires Brooksville tenants and visitors to spend additional money on fuel, maintenance and crew costs,'' Baker's report said.

In addition to saving money by having customs checks done at Brooksville, "there may also be a potential to capture additional aircraft traffic and economic development opportunities both on the airport and within Hernando County.''

The consultant surveyed four businesses at the airport that might use customs: Jet I.C.U., Corporate Jet Solutions, American Aviation and Global Jetcare, which estimated a total of 375 customs clearances each year.

The airport would also have to provide the customs facility at no cost to the federal government and would pay the required costs and fees.

Three possibilities for facilities were explored by the consultant. One would combine the Business Development Department in the same wing as the airport staff in the current airport office. That would cost an estimated $220,000 plus the cost of replacing the conference room.

The second scenario would buy an existing hangar site for $485,000 and build a new $420,000 facility.

The third possibility would pick a new site and build a new building at the cost of approximately $1.1 million.

In addition, the airport would be responsible for $148,874 per inspector in the first year and $123,438 in the following years. Data processing costs, which are also the airport's responsibility, would run up to $21,062 in the first year and up to $17,640 in the following years.

"That's what it's going to take to get it here,'' said Brooksville airport manager Kevin Daugherty.''

While the price is high, he said that the customs facility is worth exploring further because his thought was that business would build on business into the future.

"I think this thing is going to pay for itself,'' Daugherty said, "but maybe not in the first year or the second year.''

Commissioner Dave Russell, the liaison with the airport, was less optimistic. "It's a pretty big nut'' to crack, he said. To support it, he said, "I'd have to see a very significant demonstration of the financial feasibility.''

Hernando learns expense of U.S. Customs facility 03/31/14 [Last modified: Monday, March 31, 2014 10:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. PolitiFact Florida: How would Florida fare in Graham-Cassidy health care bill?

    National

    Following a sharp rebuke by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., hit the airwaves to defend his bill that would undo much of the Affordable Care Act.

    Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.
  2. What ever happened to the Zika epidemic?

    Health

    Remember Zika?

    The last time Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians about the potential threat of the mosquito-borne virus was in July, when he urged residents to still be vigilant against bug bites and standing water. At the time, doctors and researchers were bracing for what was supposed to be another active summer …

    Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, responsible for transmitting Zika, sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz Institute in Recife, Brazil. Cases of the virus are down dramatically this year in Florida, the result of awareness efforts, experts say. But the public, they add, should not let its guard down. [Associated Press]
  3. Pinellas licensing board needs cash. Will the county give it any?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– The grand jury that said Pinellas County should not take over the troubled construction licensing board also said the county should bail out the agency before it goes broke in 2018.

    Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long isn't keen on the idea of the county loaning money to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board afloat. The county has no say over the independent agency, which could run out of funding in 2018. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. Is the Bundt cake back? How retro baked goods are becoming trendy again

    Cooking

    Once there were grunts and slumps, buckles and brown betties. Oh, and pandowdies and sonkers. In the olden days, people routinely made angel food cakes, tomato soup cakes and hummingbird cakes. These were not Duncan Hines mixes, but rather confections made from scratch following yellowed and stained recipes in your …

    Nothing Bundt Cakes in Tampa offers a variety of options, from tiny “bundtinis” and 10-inch cakes that serve 18 to 20 people. Core flavors include lemon, marble, red velvet and chocolate-chocolate chip, with featured flavors like confetti.
  5. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]