Plans for Airport building in Vienna not dead yet

VIENNA, Ohio (WYTV) – Despite claims to the contrary, efforts to have the US Air Force take over the empty cargo warehouse in Vienna are not dead – at least not yet.

The building, which is owned by the Western Reserve Port Authority, sits on the western edge of the airport off of Ridge Road. There has been talk over the last year and a half of turning it into an embarkation-debarkation center for the military. The idea even drew the support of federal lawmakers in the region, who all signed a letter sent to Air Force brass in October in support of the idea.

There has never been any action taken on the move to repurpose the building, and on Wednesday, Trumbull County Commissioners announced the project had been shelved. Commissioners voted to transfer about $75,000 in bed tax money earmarked for the project and give that to the local convention and visitors Bureau. The move caught their counterparts to the south by surprise.

Mahoning County Commissioner David Ditzler said he is disappointed Trumbull County Commissioners didn’t let them know about their intentions with the property and plans to bring the subject up at a joint meeting with the Port Authority next week.

Although a news release sent out from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station late Wednesday indicates plans to take over the cargo facility are at a standstill, John Moliterno, executive director of the Western Reserve Port Authority, said no decisions have been made one way or the other.

“A military use of the air cargo building that is on the grounds of the airport is still something we are working toward,” Moliterno said. “Whether it is for an embarkation debarkation center or for some other potential military use it is always an option.”

Trumbull County Commissioners will now meet Monday morning to set aside funds to assist the project and replace what they voted to take away yesterday.