Oro Medonte Selling Off Airport Shares

Township Can't Budget For Infrastructure Improvements

Oro Medonte is getting out of the airport industry, especially considering the price tag to retrofit the place.

Oro Mayor Harry Hughes tells Barrie 360 the Township is selling its 20 per cent share in the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport to the County of Simcoe. “When it came down to Oro Medonte being able to fund that amount of money for the infrastructure, it was beyond our budget.” says Mayor Hughes. “So the County of Simcoe was interested in taking over ownership of the airport, so we had twenty percent of our shares in the airport, that we sold for approximately $1.5 million.”

The airport is primed to go through a $66 million expansion to allow for more businesses and employment at the Oro Medonte-based air strip, a cost Oro couldn’t afford to contribute towards.

Hughes says despite selling off its shares, Oro Medonte still gets a say in what happens at the airport, due to Oro’s seat at the County Council table. “We will still have a member on the board, a seat at the table, so that doesn’t change. It will allow the County to move forward on the airport, in terms of making the infrastructure changes, and the job creation. At the same time, we will not be contributing money that we traditionally have been on a yearly basis.”

Related: City Selling Off Controlling Interest in Regional Airport

The City of Barrie recently sold the majority of its shares in the airport to the County of Simcoe, giving the County a 90% hold on the facility.