Rock Airport offers plan for solvency
A bankruptcy reorganization plan for Rock Airport and Business Park filed with the court on Friday relies on projected proceeds from a gas lease with Huntley & Huntley to repay creditors.
The gas lease would provide $800,000 up front with royalty payments totalling an estimated $12 million over 15 years, the document states.
Income from the ongoing business operations at the West Deer airport and park, possible real estate sales and possible contracts with utility companies for fly ash disposal can pay third-party claims, the document states.
The plan — which would keep the airport open — was filed before a Tuesday hearing during which bankruptcy court Judge Carlota Böhm is expected to address a number of pending issues in hopes of moving the 5-year-old case closer to resolution.
“I think it's going to be interesting … If everything goes according to plan, that should change the dynamics of the whole process,” airport president Rock Ferrone said of the reorganization plan.
“We are obviously anxious to emerge the project from bankruptcy and save the airport ... letting it become the economic engine that we all knew that it would become over a decade ago,” he said via email.
In order for the plan to be approved, the creditors in the case must sign off on it. Ferrone said they have tentative agreements with those involved.
The reorganization plan would compete with a pending sale agreement and any bids that are submitted to buy the property.
In March, Alaskan Property Management, a subsidiary of Management Science Associates offered to buy the 268-acre parcel for $6 million. MSA is a tenant of the business park.
Alaskan has not said whether it will keep the airport open.
Other parties will have the opportunity to submit a purchase bid. It must exceed Alaskan's offer. Bids can't be submitted until the bid procedures are finalized.
Secured claims total $6 million. The primary creditors in the case are Huntington National Bank, which is owed $3.1 million and the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority, which is owed $1.74 million and First Commonwealth Bank, owed $526,000.
The trustee in the case, Natalie Lutz Cardiello, stands to be paid at least $180,000 in commission on the current sale agreement. According to federal statute, which dictates bankruptcy trustees' commissions, a trustee earns 3 percent on all monies disbursed or turned over in the case. This amount does not include fees or other expenses for which the trustee requests payment. The trustee's payment must be approved by the judge in the case.
Cardiello did not return calls seeking comment.
Attorneys on both sides said they anticipated having a number of matters resolved or close to a resolution this week. Rock Airport and Business Park has been in bankruptcy since 2009.
Among the items to be addressed on Tuesday are:
• Determining whether a new owner must repay $9.3 million in grant money to PennDOT if it closes the airport and if that detail should be included in the bid requirements.
• Settling bid procedures, which are used by parties interested in submitting bids to buy the property.
• Finalizing information for potential bidders that ownership will come with a required easement for access to the business park power grid, which isn't part of the sale.
• Update on progress on an environmental assessment that Alaskan must complete as part of its purchase agreement.
The judge will also take testimony on Alaskan's request for the appointment of an examiner in the case.
According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, an examiner investigates the conduct, assets, liabilities, business operations and financial condition of the debtor. The examiner may assess the desirability of continuing the business.
Alaskan/MSA and Ferrone, which have had a contentious and litigious relationship, have filed motions against each other asking the bankruptcy court judge to impose sanctions for what the other perceives as purposely not cooperating in various aspects of the case.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Good season predicted for region’s boaters
- Roaring Run mountain bike trail to be thrust into limelight
- New Kensington constructs Little Free Library
- New Kensington Megan’s Law offender jailed on new child porn charges
- Knoch thrower’s 2nd gold medal highlights big day for A-K Valley athletes at PIAA track meet
- PennDOT puts final touches on Route 28 construction
- Armed bandit holds up Leechburg gas station
- Gaschler, 19, expects to be able to balance college, school board duties
- Several Alle-Kiski pools were overhauled to make facilities more attractive
- Virginia man to stand trial in Armstrong molestation case
- VND photographers, reporters recognized