Gary VanderVeen, Chief Pilot at Metal Flow Corporation, Holland, Michigan, shares how air travel is quick and efficient, saves time and money, generates jobs, and is a valuable tool for their business. The interview took place at Metal Flow Corporation’s hangar at West Michigan Regional Airport.
Russ Roberts, long-time pilot at Tulip City Air Service (FBO) West Michigan Regional Airport, Holland, Michigan discusses FAA Emergency Training, charter service, and how the airport is a valuable community asset.
Les Hoogland and Jim Storey Bring Experience and Commitment to Board
Holland, Mich. — Les Hoogland and Jim Storey were appointed to the West Michigan Airport Authority beginning Jan. 1, 2013.
“We are delighted to welcome back former Zeeland Mayor Les Hoogland, and former Airport Chair Jim Storey,” said Tim Klunder, Zeeland City Manager and West Michigan Airport Authority Chair. “They were tremendous assets to the Authority Board in their past roles, and we are certain that in their new roles they will use their respective talents to help us further build on the success’ of the West Michigan Regional Airport.”
The City of Zeeland appointed Les Hoogland who is rejoining the Authority after a one-year absence from the Board. Hoogland served as Zeeland’s mayor for 22 years retiring in 2011 and was previously on the Zeeland City Council for eight years.
“It’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs,” Hoogland commented. “The West Michigan Regional Airport helps local businesses and organizations stay competitive, keeping jobs here and adding jobs.” When asked about how aviation became important to him, Hoogland reminisced, “As a kid during WWII, I was fascinated by the different aircraft. I saved photos of warplanes and aircraft and started a scrapbook. Since then, aviation has been part of my life.”
Hoogland thrives on community involvement. He has served on The Salvation Army board since the 1970s and played a leading role in the founding of the Howard Miller Library and Community Center. He received the “Les Hoogland Community Award” from the Zeeland Area Chamber of Commerce. His passions today include his work with the Labor Day Parade Committee and fundraising for the Get Ready For School program.
Appointed by Allegan County, Jim Storey served as a member and Chair of the Airport Advisory Committee from 1997 to 2007 and founding Chair of the West Michigan Airport Authority in 2007 and 2008.
Storey believes “It’s important that West Michigan Regional Airport continues to modernize, which will help ensure our area remains competitive when employers seek new horizons.” Storey became interested in aviation in the early 1990s. “Working on the conversion of the Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, and then later the conversion of K.I. Sawyer AFB near Marquette, convinced me aviation’s global reach was vital to any community’s hope to grow,” he explained. “Right now, learning to be an effective Allegan County Commissioner is a priority as well as providing good service to my clients at StoreyLine Connections,” Storey said.
Formed in 2008, the West Michigan Airport Authority is made up of representatives from three local municipalities: City of Holland, Park Township, and City of Zeeland. Residents of these municipalities voted to approve the support of West Michigan Regional Airport and creation of an Authority in 2008 and renewed the supporting millage in 2012. The Authority oversees the operation of the airport, as well as the relationship with the Fixed Base Operator, Tulip City Air Service.
The mission of the West Michigan Airport Authority is to provide the public with state-of-the-art global air access to strengthen the local economy and improve the area’s quality of life.
West Michigan Airport Authority Members:
Park Township: Calvin Matthysse, Mike Toscano, Bruce Wickmann
City of Zeeland: Les Hoogland, Tim Klunder (Chair), Mayor Kevin Klynstra
City of Holland: Mayor Kurt Dykstra, Chris Martin, Jim Wiersma
Allegan County: Jim Storey
Ottawa County: Don Disselkoen
The West Michigan Airport Authority will remain intact — in part because the city of Zeeland seems to have gotten on board.
In 2008, when the authority was first formed, four yes votes in Zeeland made the difference, said Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra.
All three municipalities had to approve the renewal to keep the authority intact, Holland Assistant City Manager Greg Robinson said.
According to the language, the city of Holland has to vote yes, Robinson said. For the other entities, the taxable value has to be equal to or higher than the city’s taxable value. The city of Holland and Holland Township could have formed an authority without the city of Zeeland and Park Township, he said. Without Holland Township in the mix, it takes Zeeland and Park Township together to form the authority with the city of Holland.
With two of Holland’s 15 precincts not reporting, the 0.1 mill renewal needed for the authority passed with 56 percent of the vote.
In Zeeland, 56 percent of the voters also approved the five-year tax levy. In Park Township 55 percent of voters approved the renewal request.
“I’m very pleased by the overwhelming support given by the community to the airport renewal,” Dykstra said. “I think the vast majority of our residents understand the important economic value the airport provides to the community.”
Holland Township downed the ballot initiative in 2008. The airport authority opted not to try to expand the authority with this election. Asking voters in other townships to join the authority is an option in future elections if the authority board and the township boards approve ballot language.
By ANNETTE MANWELL
Posted Jan 09, 2012 @ 11:12 PM
WEST MICHIGAN AIRPORT AUTHORITY PLANS AHEAD
FOR MILLAGE RENEWAL
Holland — A tax renewal and proposed airport terminal are the top priorities as the West Michigan Airport Authority starts the fiscal year 2013 budget process. The new fiscal year starts July 1.
The airport authority consists of the cities of Holland and Zeeland and Park Township. Renewal of the 0.10 mill tax is set to be on the May 2013 ballot. If no other matters are set to be decided in that election, the airport authority will have to bear the election costs alone. In the city of Holland, that could run about $18,000. In Zeeland and Park Township, it could range from $10,000 to $15,000 each, board members estimated at Monday’s monthly authority meeting.
But to wait until November 2013 for the election would mean a loss in some of the tax revenue, Holland Interim City Manager Greg Robinson said. To push the vote up to November 2012 would limit the authority’s time frame for publicity and promotion.
An airport promotional video is in the works, portions of which will be used to promote the millage renewal. The two-to-three-minute video was approved by the airport authority in August but has yet to be released. Members of the authority’s communication committee said it is almost complete.
The WMAA was formed by public vote in 2008. Voters in Holland, Zeeland and Park Township approved the 0.10 mill tax for five years while Holland Township voters turned it down. The 2013 renewal will be the tax’s first test since its passage.
The airport terminal building is scheduled for construction during the 2013 fiscal year also. The terminal has been on the authority’s wish list since the beginning. Rough estimates suggest it will cost $7 million.
Date: October 30, 2012
Contact: Greg Robinson, Holland Assistant City Manager
West Michigan Airport Authority Requests Millage Renewal
In May 2008, voters in the City of Zeeland, Park Township and the City of Holland approved a 0.10 (one tenth) of a mill to support the West Michigan Airport Authority. This millage approval was for a five year period. Although five years from the 2008 vote would be May 2013, the millage actually expires on December 31, 2012.
The City of Zeeland, Park Township and the City of Holland have placed the Airport Authority millage renewal on the November 6, 2012 ballot. The renewal will be for 0.10 of a mill and for another five year period, exactly the same as the previously approved millage. Based on December 31, 2011 taxable values in the City of Zeeland, a 0.10 mill for the average residential property would equate to about $4.90 per year. The voters in all three governmental units must approve the millage renewal in order for it to be continued.
The millage renewal in the City of Zeeland is estimated to generate about $43,000 per year, depending on property value changes. The millage renewal for all three member units would generate about $217,000 per year, depending upon property value changes.
The West Michigan Airport Authority has been very beneficial to this community in terms of area-wide cooperation to provide a necessary economic asset; and to providing a portion of the operating and capital funds to support and improve the West Michigan Regional Airport.
Zeeland/Holland employers truly operate in a global environment and having convenient access to an airport has become crucial to their stability and growth. Zeeland-based Herman Miller, Gentex, Zeeland Farm Services and numerous other Zeeland/Holland companies depend upon the West Michigan Regional Airport.
The Authority has engaged in significant capital projects to provide a safe and reliable airport to this community; projects that may not have occurred without the local millage. Over $2.3 million in capital projects has been constructed including replacement of the Instrument Landing System, repaving taxiways, providing a taxiway connector, constructing public viewing areas, and reconstructing the primary vehicle entrance road (will be completed in November 2012). This airport now has a reliable, state-of-the-art navigation system to ensure that area employers can depend on being able to access the airport. 75% of the costs of these projects have been funded by federal and state grants, leveraged by the 25% local revenue available through, largely, the local millage.
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February 13, 2012 – Holland, MI – The West Michigan Airport Authority (WMAA) announced the new West Michigan Regional Airport video is complete and ready to view.
The four-minute video takes a creative and fun approach that inspires and encourages awareness on how the airport is a valuable community asset. Miss Nancy Future, a local, nine-year old resident, hosts the video and explores why our airport is key to a healthy tomorrow, our terminal for transaction that is “Now Landing Business.”
Miss Future interviews several local businesses who share what the airport means to their business and clients, and the positive influence the airport has on local jobs. A nonprofit organization is interviewed and tells how local, financially needy people, who require specialized medical care, are helped through flights at no cost to distant medical centers from West Michigan Regional Airport.
The video will also be shown at community presentations and meetings, local businesses and other community venues.
The WMAA Board approved the production of the video last year to promote general awareness of the airport in a creative way. The video was produced locally by Grooters Productions.
VIEW VIDEO HERE
At the December 10, 2012 West Michigan Airport Authority meeting, results of the 2012 audit by Rehmann were presented and approved by the Authority Board. The official report is available here. Please direct questions to the City of Holland Finance Office at (616) 355-1300.
Holland, MI — October 10, 2011 The West Michigan Airport Authority’s board approved that Tulip City Airport’s name will change to West Michigan Regional Airport. The decision was made at the WMAA board meeting held at Howard Miller Library and Community Center in Zeeland.
“This is no longer just a city airport. Tulip City Airport has expanded to include the support of surrounding municipalities that see the airport as a venue that minimizes time and distance – making West Michigan a viable option for companies and individuals,” explained Zeeland’s Mayor Les Hoogland.
Mayor Kurt Dykstra of Holland stated, “We are one community – and our success as a community depends upon us working together to better compete. Changing our airport’s name reinforces the fact that this community asset serves all of West Michigan and helps connect our local economy to the global economy.”
Since 2008, Park Township, the City of Zeeland, and the City of Holland have been working together to provide this vital community service.
August 25, 2012
The community is invited to attend the 2012 Wings of Mercy CareAffaire that will be held at the West Michigan Regional Airport, Holland, Michigan on Saturday, August 25 from 8:00 a.m. to Noon.
The delicious pancake breakfast will be cooked and served by our local Lions Club. Tickets can be purchased for jet and airplane rides. Fun and excitement for kids and families. All proceeds go to Wings of Mercy.
FACT: Since 1991, over 800 Wings of Mercy flights have flown low-income people to medical designations to/from West Michigan Regional Airport!
Wings of Mercy
West Michigan Airport Authority
Peter VandenBosch and a group of pilots met in Holland, Michigan to organize a service named Wings of Mercy to offer flights at no cost to financially needy persons from that area who required specialized medical treatment at distant medical centers. Immediately it became clear that the need was far greater than expected. Based upon their experience, upward of 80% of their clients would not be able to go for specialized treatment if this kind of service was not available. All services are performed by volunteer pilots. Wings of Mercy is funded entirely by charitable contributions.