Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough aviation board votes to continue with controversial demolition

TAMPA — The Hillsborough Aviation Authority board voted 3-1 to continue with the controversial demolition of a $4 million building owned by Tampa International Airport.

The one dissenting vote was by member Steve Burton, who questioned whether airport executive director Louis Miller and his boss, Hillsborough Aviation Authority chairman Al Austin, had a conflict of interest.

Austin owns 400,000 square feet of office space in the adjacent West Shore area, of which about 80,000 square feet is now vacant. The building to be demolished has about 40,000 square feet.

Miller said only decisions to buy and sell property are reviewed by the board. Airport policy allows him to decide how to maintain, or even destroy, airport property, he said.

Board members Austin, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and physician Joseph Diaco voted to go ahead with the $79,000 demolition, partly swayed by Miller's comments that the contractor had already been hired and there could be legal complications if the job is canceled.

But they also agreed, on Iorio's advice, to make sure that in the future, Miller should ask for board approval before demolishing any building on airport property.

After the meeting, Iorio explained that taking such a step should avoid questions of impropriety.

The board also discussed the possibility of increasing the number of international flights handled by the airport. A consultant gave a presentation, and the board approved an initiative to survey different businesses throughout the Tampa Bay area to gauge interest in international travel.

The survey will also try to find out whether businesses have interest in helping subsidize the cost of bringing in more international flights. Most board members agreed that likely wouldn't happen, however.

"It would be a surprise if we could get businesses to contribute, in this environment," Iorio said.

Hillsborough aviation board votes to continue with controversial demolition 01/07/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 7, 2010 1:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Editorial: Making tax increases harder would sentence Florida to mediocrity


    Florida has one of the lowest state tax burdens in the nation, a long list of unmet needs and a Republican-controlled state government that treats any talk of a tax increase as heresy. Yet Gov. Rick Scott wants voters to approve a constitutional amendment to make it even harder for the Legislature to raise taxes. That's …

    Gov. Rick Scott wants voters to approve a constitutional amendment to make it even harder for the Legislature to raise taxes. That’s election-year pandering, not leadership.
  2. What happens if you look at the eclipse without glasses? Want a hole in your vision?


    It's the burning question of the week.

    The solar eclipse Monday will be quite the Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson moment for Americans to share. The idea is to walk away without frying your eyeballs.

    Colton Hammer tries out his new eclipse glasses he just bought from the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City on Wednesday in preparation for the eclipse on Monday. [Scott G Winterton | Deseret News via AP]
  3. Waterspout forms between Caladesi and Dunedin


    A waterspout formed between Caladesi Island and Dunedin earlier today.

    A waterspout formed between Caladesi Island and Dunedin. [Photo via YouTube]
  4. Contractor sues Tampa over troubled Watrous Canal repair project

    Local Government

    TAMPA — City Hall is being sued by the company it hired for a $3.2 million canal-repair project that ran into problems, plaguing neighborhoods along West Shore Boulevard with road closures and traffic delays even as its cost rose by 45 percent.

    A project to repair and improve the Watrous Canal closed West Shore Boulevard last year and is now the subject of a lawsuit between the contractor, Pac Comm of Miami, and the city of Tampa. CHRIS URSO   |   Times (2016)

  5. Salvation Army, Red Cross, Susan G. Komen abandon Trump's Mar-a-Lago


    The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and Susan G. Komen on Friday joined a growing exodus of organizations canceling plans to hold fundraising events at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, deepening the financial impact to President Donald Trump's private business amid furor over his comments on Charlottesville.

    A Secret Service agent stands at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach in April. [Doug Mills | New York Times]