Friday, April 5, 2019

Bathrooms = Mo' Money

Golden crappers make for um, economic development.  A member of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority Board of Commissioners pushed mighty hard to spend $300,000 to renovate the bathrooms at Hawkins Field in order to generate economic activity.  The July 2018 minutes state:


July 23, 2018

2. Hawkins Field Terminal Restroom Renovation Project

Next, Commissioner Reed addressed the Board and stated her concerns with the budget amount for the Hawkins Field Terminal Restroom Renovation Project.

The Board of Commissioners, along with Mr. Newman, CEO, then held discussion as to the project as well as the costs. Some of the salient points of that discussion are stated below.

Mr. Newman informed the Board if a Fixed Based Operator (“FBO”) begins operating at Hawkins Field Airport (HKS), the FBO possibly will change the new bathrooms installed by JMAA.

Commissioner Reed then stated that she is reluctant to authorize the amount of the project budget for the HKS restroom renovation project. She asked if the Board would consider delaying the project to begin at a later date in order to revisit the project.

Then Commissioner LTC(R) Wright asked for a description of the proposed $300,000.00 bathrooms. He stated that he agrees with the suggestion to delay the project.

Next, Chairman Pastor Henley stated that he is in favor of proceeding with the Hawkins Field Terminal Restroom Renovation Project previously approved by the Board unanimously. He added that he would like the project to proceed because he is a City of Jackson, MS resident and the upgraded restrooms will benefit the City of Jackson. Further, he stated that if facilities at Hawkins Field are upgraded, more people and groups will use it for activities and events.

Chairman Pastor Henley also stated that the rationale that the traffic at Hawkins Field has not increased; therefore, restroom renovations should not be done is faulty. Additionally, he stated that this rationale was not followed regarding the decision to authorize restroom improvements at JAN. This is because there has been no increase in passengers at JAN, but the restroom improvement project at JAN is moving forward. Continuing, he stated that “improved restrooms will increase passenger traffic at JAN” was the rationale supporting the Board’s decision to improve the restrooms at JAN. Likewise, he submitted, an investment in upgrades at HKS will attract more customers to Hawkins.

Chairman Pastor Henley said that at HKS, there is no investment as to improvements. Instead, the Board is taking money away from HKS and giving it to JAN. As a result, no one is using the HKS facility events, etc. because of the substandard restrooms and other facilities.

In response, Commissioner Reed stated that she is not against HKS, but wants to be cognizant of the funds being spent and how they are spent. She added that the Board should be prioritizing the funds being spent for HKS.

RESOLUTION CY-2018-110

RESOLUTION DIRECTING JMAA STAFF TO SUSPEND THE WORK IN PROGRESS AS TO THE HAWKINS FIELD TERMINAL RESTROOM RENOVATION PROJECT

Upon motion by Commissioner Reed, seconded by Vice Chairman Harris, the following RESOLUTION was made and approved by majority vote 4-1-0.

The Board approved a $318,000 budget for the project at the May 2018 meeting.  

You simply can't make this up.




50 comments:

Micah Gober said...

How does renovated restrooms generate economic activity? When I get off a Delta flight. I head for runway 2 and pee off the in the field. I'm not crazy!

Anonymous said...

I understand now why Dirk Vanderleest got the hell out while he could. "Too many oil paintings on the walls now at the airport"

Anonymous said...

Is Chairman Pastor Henley the same person as Attorney Trustee Accountant Astronaut Pastor Chairman Henley?



Taka Dump said...

Follow the money.

Anonymous said...

The rationales for both sides is flawed.
The women's bathrooms were long overdue for an update. I asked my husband about the men's restrooms, and it was no surprise he doesn't notice anything short of " broken".
The update will not only fix that which was broken, but will make them more efficient , cheaper to maintain and far more sanitary so as not to spread germs.
I have to wonder if those discussing the issue had seen ALL the bathrooms in the terminal and bothered to learn what now available and why improvements were needed .

Anonymous said...

Pastor needs church donations from the bathroom contractor/ consultant that is involved. Bet on that!

Anonymous said...

Some Lysol, PineSol and Clorox would go a long way. If if flushes and doesn't leak and the toilet seat is commercial grade and operational then there are no problems. I'll take the project for $50,000.00 TODAY. Follow the money is right.

Anonymous said...

And as a side note, I flew out of Jackson last week on United and once you were on the United concourse---the only working bathrooms were the 'family' bathrooms--they were making announcements and had signs that no "stall" restrooms available past this point!!!!

Anonymous said...

How many people out there even know where Hawkins field is? I don't and I certainly wouldn't know how to get there.

Louis LeFleur said...

Some of you seem to be talking about the Jackson - Medgar Wiley Evers airport in Rankin County. This project is for the Hawkins Field terminal, the old airport on Woodrow Wilson in west Jackson. That terminal was originally built in the 1930s with WPA money and to my knowledge hasn't been in use since the 1960s when the then new airport opened. there has been a restoration project going on this terminal for years, starting with some federal grant, because of its historic significance.



Anonymous said...

WTF!!!! Is Hawkins even in use? Does this Henley character actually believe that there is some sort of competition for business between JAN and Hawkins? Why in the living, breathing, pulsating, undulating name of f#@ck would the City of Jackson put a single dime into Hawkins?

Thank goodness somewhat marginally more intelligent heads prevailed and put a stop to this, but the fact that this was even on the table - much less approved at one point - proves that Jackson is truly, irreversibly and undeniably lost.

Madison Rulz said...

They are renovating bathrooms at the main airport right now. The ones by the American gates are closed. You have to use a portable trailer.

There was nothing wrong with the bathrooms that were there.

If I had it to over again, I would be a government contractor.

Anonymous said...

The driving factor for me to use an airport is some combination of #of airlines, direct or connecting flights, and price of airfare. I have never decided to use an airport for the niceness of it. Plus its only an hour or hour and a half to Dallas or Atlanta and by then I am usually using their facilities. I fly a lot and have never darkened the doors at Hawkins.

Anonymous said...

You would stay broke as a government contractor, unless you are minority. Best that most don't know how to get there. It's near the wonderful zoo. So, you would need to borrow a armored vest from the Rankin County Sheriff's office or take your chances. Historic significance, my ass. The whole area would be better if burnt down and started over.

Anonymous said...

Hawkins Field is out on Woodrow Wilson Avenue just East of I-220. It has been primarily used as an Army National Guard Aviation Support Facility for Blackhawk Helicopters. I used to drill there when I was in the guard. The surrounding neighborhood out there is rough and it was common to find spent ammunition in and around the helicopters from shots being fired from the surrounding neighborhood. Fun times! Saying that, I don't think the idea of increasing customer traffic there is viable and leasing the facilities out to a private company for commercial use may be a better option for the City.

Anonymous said...

I swear some people here exist to hate all things Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Once you look at the local government as a tool to extract all available wealth from Jackson and distribute it to a certain group of people before it goes bankrupt it all starts to make sense. As far as I can tell most of it is even legal as long as the stupid voter base keeps electing the very people that fleece them and turn the jails into a revolving door to terrorize the community.

Anonymous said...

Hawkins Field most certainly is in use. Love the all mighty, know-it-all who feel compelled to comment on this site about things they actually know nothing about.

Hawkins does not cater to scheduled airliner flights, but there are many corporate jets, turbos and high end props that fly in and out of there daily. Plus of course a large contingent of non-commercial general aviation

Individuals flying into Jackson for business often choose touse Hawkins due to its convenience to their destination downtown. Some even use the facilities at the terminal for their meetings (of course, with the bathrooms as they are without gold plated crappers) and never leave the site.

I realize that Hawkins is on Woodrow Wilson, and adjacent to a large, thriving industrial park that the average JJ reader doesn't believe exists in Jackson, but the ignorance of the commentators doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Anonymous said...

I'd bet $318,000 Henley had a large part of pushing Newman out the door.

Anonymous said...

This has zero to do with hating Jackson. I think everyone would love to be proud of their Capital City. The incompetent leadership is embarrassing. It is a violent place. Minority leadership always want to lean on some kind of entitlement and they do nothing but beat their own chest with no result. Their idea of leadership and accomplishment will not suffice. By the way, I am a minority and have a pretty good idea of how most think. This bathroom project would only be good for a handful of individuals, not traffic flow.

Anonymous said...

It is time the Mayor step up and replace the incompetency on the board. I am sure the state is quietly putting their case together, and this certainly helps their case. Anyone else would determine that this is not a reasonable cost and reject all bids.

Rod Knox said...

I vaguely recall several controversies decades ago regarding state funds being spent to maintain and upgrade the streets of Jackson. Several counties and cities strongly objected but the "statesmen" of that time insisted that the capital of the state must be made and kept in a manner exemplary of the Grand State of Mississippi.

Back then people read newspapers and there were 2 in Jackson. I believe that both pushed for spending all that was needed to polish things up. These days any state money spent on the capital would be to move it to Madison County.

Anonymous said...

I'm familiar with the uses of Hawkins. That facility does have a decent amount of air traffic. And if the bathrooms need fixing, I guess they need to be fixed. But, honestly, $300,000 on bathrooms? No way. No way at all that is a legit price.

Anonymous said...

@9:08 Unless you are a service-disabled veteran, a woman or a select minority owned business you would not qualify for a federal government contract. You want to follow the money? Try an automatic (as in mandatory) +30% mark-up for pure profit on top of already inflated construction costs. Of course you would not be required to have any relevant experience - it's nothing more than an entitlement program...

Anonymous said...

9:39 I have learned that anyone who asserts that they know what someone else "always wants" knows not what they are talking about. Majority and minority will make bad decisions and will make good decisions, discuss each occurrence on it's own merits and you can sit in discussion with intelligent people.

Ian Word said...

This could rival Mar A Lago. Imagine the dollars flowing into Jackson as the rich and powerful fly into Hawkins Field for a sun filled weekend on the links at the renowned Sonny Guy golf course. That $318k toilet job will allow this radical plan to come to fruition! We can get the surrounding residents to put their lovely abodes on Air BnB. Next on the project list:
The West Jackson amusement park and the NASCAR track. Watch it happen Jackson naysayers.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that the airport used by the drug dealers to bring their drugs in to be met by the Jackson police force and given an armed guard to deliver them to their intended owner?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this is the airport over by the zoo in Jackson. Isn't there already a good fixed base operator (FBO) over there providing maint., fuel, pilots lounge, restrooms, etc. for general aviation customers?

Anonymous said...

@ 9.35 AM

Nonetheless...

It is very hard to see how any investment in Hawkins leads to an economic benefit to the city of Jackson. Yes, it is more convenient for some businesses to fly their private planes into Hawkins vs. JAN - good for them. But does this translate into any incremental benefit to the city?

Perhaps if there is a compelling business case that clearly illustrates how tax dollars supporting the upkeep (much less improvement) of Hawkins would generate a positive return to the city in the form of incremental revenue from the fees (if there are any - forgive my ignorance of the economics of public airports) and/or taxes, then there is some justification for putting money into that facility. Short of that, it's money wasted. One key assumption to that particular analysis would be that the myriad businesses who had used Hawkins would absolutely refuse to fly into JAN and make the 15 minute drive into town to conduct commerce and cease to do business in Jackson altogether; thus the city would lose any tax benefit from those businesses. That's a long shot.

A city with crumbling streets, a sub-standard water system and inadequate police protection can't afford two airports...or a zoo.

Anonymous said...

Well as a former Governor said, RB I believe,
when discussing a certain gold plated commode
In the Governors Mansion, this could be the best
"ass set" the state of Mississippi ever had.
At $300,000 + Hawkins field may finally have the best
"ass set" in the state! Think about it!

Anonymous said...

Well as a former Governor said, RB I believe,
when discussing a certain gold plated commode
In the Governors Mansion, this could be the best
"ass set" the state of Mississippi ever had.
At $300,000 + Hawkins field may finally have the best
"ass set" in the state! Think about it!

Anonymous said...

10:49

Please bring up a good decision made and I will try to have an intelligent conversation about earned merits. If you don't believe my statement, you really haven't learned much at all. Can we agree to disagree? I do not believe the cost for the restroom renovation is supported by one's assumption that it will bring in more traffic. Maybe they should pay a consulting firm $200,000 for a feasibility study to be able to prove it.

Anonymous said...

James Henley is a well-known "Title Attorney." The heading for his obit will be longer than the obit itself.

Kingfish said...

Problem with Hawkins was Dirk neglected it for years. Had no manager for nearly ten years. Out of sight, out of mind, and it showed. But hey, he is white, so it doesn't matter.

It has a 5200 foot runway and a control tower, something many GA airports don't have. It's only a few minutes from downtown. Mr. Newman and staff were cleaning it up. Repairs were made, renovations took place, and the runways were fixed up. The old trashy airplanes at the South end are gone.

No reason Hawkins can't succeed. Bathrooms are old. Not nasty or filthy but old. It has a fairly large meeting room. Not uncommon for business meetings to take place at GA airports.

But bathrooms for economic development? First time I've heard that one.

Anonymous said...

Thi would make George Castanza"s "Greatest Restrooms of All Time" list.

Hermit King said...

Kingfish,

You mentioned the removal of old trashy airplanes. I must ask you if the still have the 3 old Douglas DC-3s? I remember seeing those decaying old beauties back in the 2000's. They were the planes that the paratroopers jumped out of during D-Day. After the war they helped boost commercial aviation due to being cheap, plentiful, and reliable.

Anonymous said...

Here is a novel idea. Take that same $300,000.00 to the Jackson INTERNATIONAL Airport and finish "paving the runway."

Anonymous said...

Is this restroom renovation a good illustration that Jackson "leadership" is full of s**t?

Anonymous said...

333, it's not a shortage of funds affecting the runway construction. It's another in a long line of f***ups by a certain engineering firm that failed to properly design and spec the project. But the firm was not hired bease of their competency - so why should we be surprised that they have screwed up another project for/in the City of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

300 K for bathroom updates at Hawkins Field ?

Hell, that's funnier than Sander's Speaks.

Anonymous said...

At the rate that baby chok pays his friends, $300k would probably fix 3-4 potholes.

I Taught Rudy About Airports said...

Who are these people who fly into Hawkins for business in Jackson? The George Jetson International up at Madison is the safest around. And the pilots know exactly how to get over to Mama Hamils. But, I guess the pilots who land at Hawkins can tour the nearby BFI facility and Cysco.

Anonymous said...

There is more economic activity within 5 miles of hawkins than there is within 5 miles of the Madison airport, excluding dining and shopping of course. People don’t fly in to dine and shop. There is a fair amount of industrial activity in that area.

Anonymous said...

This thread clearly shows how ignorant the anti-Jackson posters are on this board. Jackson has issues, and so does Hawkins, but it is a busy airport.

Just because you don't see it as an option on Travelocity doesn't mean it is not a functional airport. Lots of private planes use that airport and so do companies with a presence in Jackson. JAN is too expensive for most private flyers.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish - What difference does it make that 'he was white'? Is that your pandering comment for the week?

Rod Knox said...

Luckily Tupelo schemed and won a federal grant ($millions???) to rebuild their regional airport's runway and extend it to 6,500 feet and support an air traffic controller and they seemed to have justified doing so to support the state's 2 military flight training schools which regularly have planes that drop their landing gear and take a glide path down to ~200 feet but continue on. Of course our statesmen wished to paint their support for the runway so they sought and gained a federal subsidy of more millions to pay for a regional carrier to make daily stops there with the toll to Nashville of $35 or so. The people at Hawkins should pay Tupelo's airport leaders a few $hundred thousand for some consultation.

Oh! and Tupelo now has a Chinese owned 747 junkyard to take advantage of that runway. And I feel certain they have working rest rooms somewhere on inside those fences. Built with federal funds no less.

Anonymous said...

"There is more economic activity within 5 miles of hawkins than there is within 5 miles of the Madison airport, excluding dining and shopping of course. People don’t fly in to dine and shop. There is a fair amount of industrial activity in that area."

Oh, really? Please name the economic activity within five miles of hawkins. Take your time. Oh, but when comparing Madison, be sure to exclude dining and shopping which certainly do not represent economic activity.

The dining comment applied to pilots, genius. You know...the guys who drive the plane and have to spend three to five hours twiddling their thumbs. Would they rather be stuck in a dungeon behind Cisco or jump in a loaner and have the run of Madison? Your turn.

Anonymous said...

How about some decent customer service? Instead of some zombie woman at the reception desk who seems to distracted to give information. The worst service I have ever received from any public retail area. Their info booth is run by the rudest, exhausted employee I have have ever met. Not friendly, not nice, not helpful, should be their slogan. Embarrassed to have family flying in here. Hire people who value their jobs.

Anonymous said...

The FBO at Hawkins has a loaner. I've used it many times.

KHKS is a much better airport than Madison.

Anonymous said...

2:33, i'll bet there is more industrial economic activity within a mile of Hawkins than there is within five miles of Madison airport. Realize you have probably never been in that part of Jackson, but take a drive and educate yourself. Industrial Drive (turns north off Woodrow Wilson and takes you to the west FBO) is full of large commercial/industrial concerns. Boling Street (north/south connector from Industrial to Capitol, is also a major commercial corridor. And most of the roads between Industrial and Boling are similar.

The amount of private and corporate traffic into Hawkins is significant - both due to the convenience and the airport size. Try it sometimes, you might learn something.

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