THEODORE ERB, Richland
Does Vista Field also fall into "budget dust" category, as the Herald editorial board so nicely pointed out on the Port of Kennewick's proposal to remove the Christmas tree lighting for 2013.
Executive Director Tim Arntzen has repeatedly stated that the cost to the port of Vista Field is more than $200,000 per year. The actual operational budget received from the port shows the net operational income for the Port from 2004 to 2011 cost the Port an average of $25,944 per year. This includes a self-inflicted $75,000 buyout of the previous operator of the airport in 2008, when the port was moving to shut down Vista Field. If this one-time aberration is removed, the operational cost of Vista Field cost an average of $11,279 per year. This is 0.033 percent of the port's tax receipts. Or 11 cents per year for a $100,000 home. This also fits in the "budget dust" category.
The other real surprise is that the port actually made money in 2006 and 2007 when an active airport operator was at Vista Field. Note: The port does not allocate administrative overhead to any of its holdings.