The YRA board finalized its more than $3 million budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year last week.

Operating revenues are expected to increase at the airport by $126,429, but overall revenue is still expected to drop by $640,948, largely due to a 14 percent reduction in grant funding. In all, the airport expects to incur $313,065 less revenue than expenses, a nearly $40,000 larger shortfall from the previous year. In contrast this shortfall barely grew from 2017-18 to 18-19. What typically balances YRA’s budget is funding from outside sources.

“The airport typically has a deficit annually and the city and county split that 60-40 accordingly,” city council and airport board member Heidi Rasmussen said.

YRA can still expect $213,339 from the City of Cody this year – a $28,974 increase from last year. The county will also contribute 12 percent more than last year at $132,226.

“Our funding back-fills from year to year,” Bucky Hall, YRA board chairman, said. “This happened to be one of the higher years.”

YRA will additionally receive $548,889 from the state’s Wyoming Aviation Capital Improvement Program. These funds will go towards extending the airport’s access road and parking lot, and providing improvements to seal coat, pavements and overall design. The airport is planning for $24 million in WACIP funds through 2038.

The airport anticipates $3.06 million in expenses this next year with operating costs expected to rise by $75,518. Hall said this increase is primarily due to a new employee pay plan that will offer raises and a busy airport summer which may draw many hours of staff overtime, with overall wages to increase by $40,735.  Also contributing to the red will be a $11,000 increase in utilities and $12,000 more in health plan benefits.

The airport will be able to utilize $112,500 in Passenger Facility Charge funds this year. Passengers pay PFC’s to the airlines within their ticket fee, which is remitted to the airport of departure and arrival.

The airport also received $8,000 in grants for marketing.

On June 4 Yellowstone Regional Airport General Manager Bob Hooper was put on semi-paid leave by the board for an unspecified disciplinary reasons. Exact reasons for the suspension were not made public, but Hall said an outside law firm was brought in to conduct an investigation. After three executive sessions, Hooper was put on a month-long suspension and returned to work Tuesday.

Within the new fiscal plan the YRA board budgeted for Hooper to continue making the same $90,592 including benefits.

(2) comments

Fox Blue River

Dewey I agree with what you are saying except I wonder how the current situation effects tourism. Right now without tourists Cody becomes a feed store and a gas station at best. As far as I know most towns in Wyoming are shrinking.

DeweyV

It would be helpful if the enterprising reporter told us the extent to which the federal government / FAA $ub$idize$ the operation of YRA... the amount and description of the annual grants. Give us a line item ledgerof how much outside non-local money is required to operate YRA every fiscal cycle. . Locals who are so gung-ho in their beliefs that Cody somehow is entitled to yearround regular passenger air service run smack into the others whose narrow minds have been brainwashed into believing the Federal Government is no good and should get gone from local involvement and the State of Wyoming. We cannot have it both ways. Wyoming 's mindset is one of despising the Feds, yet there they are with their hand out . Truth be told the City of Cody and Park County as the joint powers owning and operatings YRA are always going to be paying mightily for that sense of entitlement . YRA is deficit spending. YRA is a black hole where the local money disappears. We siphon off large sums of tax dollars from all 28,000 resident in Park County and Cody , and the State of Wyoming aeronautics program ( a division of the highway department) to subsidize YRA , yet we never get the cash flow into the black. It's a money sink. Airlines and airports are Pay As You Go , fee driven , should be entirely user supported but are not , heavily subsidized yet we have to draw off money from so many residents and tax rolls that never use the airport. Taxpayers here pay for the privilege locally to fly in and out of Billings instead. If you really hate Socialism and the federal government, then quit taking the federal money and the airport subsidy grants. General Aviation ( read: private ) is doing very well at YRA. The FBO's and all those Cessna jocks in the Hangar Hegemony receive fabulous suport from the public trough. They come nowhere near repaying the actual real world cost of Cody-Park County joint powers providing them a fine little airport. They get their hangar rental, tarmac space , aviation services and amenities at well below cost. The non-airport using taxpayer pays the difference to keep YRA operable. We all pay, but only some of us use YRA. Therefore a great deal of financial imbalance needs to be reconciled. It starts with full disclosure of the entirety of YRA's funding , with transparency all around. As is, YRA is a Good Old Boys or Millionaires/Billionaires Country Club with a runway instead of a golf fairway.

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