This article underwritten by: Renetta DuBose
New Gary Airport Board Gets Jump on P3, Tables Runway Expansion
Despite not being a full board yet, the GaryChicago International Airport Authority held its first meeting to discuss major projects in the works. The group heard an update on the Public Private Partnership (P3). The runway expansion project was tabled. Thomas Collins Sr., Governor Mike Pence’s appointment as President to the board, led the meeting.
P3 Ad Hoc Committee chair Carrie Hightman reported on two of the ten proposals submitted to the airport. Hightman told the board Aviation Facilities Company LLC/AvPorts Management LLC, a group comprised of Guggenheim Partners and Loop Capital, is experienced in designing, permitting and funding airports in Indianapolis, Detroit and San Diego. The GCI Group, LLC, comprised of NAI Hiffman, Clark Street Development, LCM, Inc. and The Williams Capital Group, has experience in real estate development. Its resume includes work with INDOT, IDEM and the EPA. Hightman said the other eight proposals have not been eliminated at this point. She told the board negotiations will begin soon and the committee will report back to the board between the end of October and the end of November.
The board met without its Porter County Commissioners appointment. That person has not been named. Other board members are James Cooper, Vice President and Account Manager at JP Morgan Chase in Chicago, Michael Doyne, President of Doyne’s Marine, Inc. in Portage, Shontrai Irving, State Farm insurance attorney in Crown Point and Alesia Pritchett, Director of Business Services/Grant Management for the School City of Hammond. All are appointed by Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. Denise Dillard, Vice President of Government and External Affairs at the Methodist Hospitals was appointed by the Lake County Board of Commissioners.
Collins, President of Luke Oil Company, said the board has a lot of catching up to do, which includes an indoctrination meeting this Friday. He said he is looking forward to working on the board. The next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 23.