MASSENA - It appeared at one point last week that starting today flights out of Massena International Airport would be affected by a dispute between the town and village governments over payments for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) mandated security details.
But Mayor James F. Hidy said Monday hes not expecting any flights to be cancelled.
There will be security at the airport tomorrow, Mr. Hidy said Monday afternoon. Mr. Gray (Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray) and I have met and we will continue to meet until we get this rectified.
Mr. Hidy said he was planning to have another meeting with Mr. Gray today.
When asked if there was a possibility of having an agreement available for village board members to vote on when they meet tonight, Mr. Hidy replied, It is possible.
Mr. Hidy also said as long as the town and village officials remain in talks, the village will continue providing security at the airport.
As long as the meetings remain ongoing, we will continuing providing security at the airport, he said.
Mr. Hidy also pointed out the issue is not limited to Massena. Jefferson County is currently looking to have someone other than the sheriffs department provide security at the Watertown airport.
This is not just an isolated situation in Massena, he said. This is occurring in Watertown with the sheriffs department as well as Im sure at a number of other airports.
Mr. Hidy said that now the village and town are communicating with each other on the issue, hes optimistic the story will have a happy ending.
When people know the facts, it helps create better communication toward our goals, which is keeping the airport open, he said. Im sure that between Mr. Gray and myself this situation will be resolved sooner rather than later.
Last week Mr. Hidy said that he was prepared to yank village police from the security detail unless the town signed an agreement with the village that would guarantee the village would be compensated for its services.
Mr. Gray meanwhile has reached out to TSA officials, who have said they would be willing to work with the town to ensure the airport stays open and security requirements are met.
The exchange I had with the TSA was very positive, Mr. Gray said. They are willing to work with us to solve this problem.
Mr. Gray was unavailable for comment on Monday.