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Audit finds Pittsburgh airport leasing to Army below market
PennLive / AP ^ | 03/26/03 | AP Staff

Posted on 03/26/2003 2:40:23 AM PST by prisoner6

Audit finds Pittsburgh airport leasing to Army below market

The Associated Press
3/26/03 3:59 AM

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pittsburgh International Airport officials leased property to the Army for 76 percent below fair market value, according to a federal audit.

The airport lost $252,000 in the lease of 25 acres, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General found.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the lease and could require the Allegheny County Airport Authority, which owns the airport, to recoup the money.

Airport authority spokeswoman Joann Jenny said the lease was created by county officials in 1998 and the authority was formed in 1999. The authority reaffirmed the lease and has explained to auditors why a reduced lease was offered, she said.

"When they negotiated this lease agreement with the Army, the Army decided it would pay all the costs to prepare the property before building on it," Jenny said. "There was a reduction in the value of the lease because we gave them the land 'as-is."'

Inspector general auditors seemed satisfied with the explanation in 2001, Jenny said.

A spokesman said the Army did not know the lease might violate federal policy.

Under the 60-year lease, the Army pays about $40,000 for the first 25 years and $1 for the next 35 years.

The airport authority is required to abide by various federal policies because it receives federal grant dollars. One policy says it cannot lease airport property to non-aviation entities for less than fair market value.

The property in Moon Township houses the Army Reserve's 99th Regional Support Command Headquarters.

The audit also found the airport did not report four other non-aviation leases with the U.S. Postal Service, Findlay and Moon townships, and the state government.

Airports in Cleveland, Miami, San Antonio and Detroit were also audited. The inspector general found $40.9 million in potential revenue misuse that was not detected by the FAA, most at the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department. The FAA has taken steps to improve financial reporting by airports, the inspector general's report said.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: army; lease; pennsylvania; realestate
OK, I must be missing something here. What's the big deal? If I'm reading correctly the Army payed to make the land "buildable" and the owner, Allegheny county, basically agreed to collect less for the lease.

Aparently it violates some federal law, but what I'm trying to figure out is WHO is the benefiting party, other than the Army? IOW what politician(s) made out?


1 posted on 03/26/2003 2:40:23 AM PST by prisoner6
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