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Published: Wednesday, 11/27/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Web site advocating takeover plan of Toledo Express goes live

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER
Home page of the toledoairports.com Web site. Home page of the toledoairports.com Web site.
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A Web site promised by investment adviser Dock Treece to detail his plans for a proposed takeover of Toledo Express Airport went live today.

The site, www.toledoairports.com, aims to identify Mr. Treece, his wife, Cynthia Treece, and his two sons, Dock David Treece and Ben Treece, and seeks to dispel criticisms of their plan, but still leaves many details out.

The Treeces have quietly shopped their plan for months to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, which operates the two city-owned airports, Toledo Express and Toledo Executive, and to Mayor Mike Bell.

The proposal became public shortly before the Nov. 5 election. The group is seeking “complete operational control of all public facilities” and the right to sell and lease property at or near the airport, an early e-mailed description of the plan said.

According to the site, "We and our consultants believe that under private control Toledo Express can do far more to attract new commercial carriers, and also add alternative types of passenger service at both Toledo Express AND Toledo Executive, using little-known sections of FAA regulation previously unexplored by the Airports’ current operator."

The Treeces, who together run Treece Investment Advisory Corp. in Sylvania Township, say they have decades of experience in both aviation and in property management, which they say, is “far more experience in aviation than the entire board of the current operator put together.”

Their proposal identifies eight businesses they own, including an aircraft leasing company. 

Mr. Treece, 63, the senior partner of that company, is a long-time pilot who owns a jet aircraft and has more than 2000 hours of flight time and has operated in and out of hundreds of airports, the site says.

On the site, the Treeces say that they have consultants willing to work with them, “but [who] refuse to get involved with Toledo’s airports so long as the current operator is in control.”

Under the port authority, Toledo Express earned more than $14 million in profits from 2001 to 2010, but has run a deficit of about $300,000 each of the last three years, including 2013, because of the decline of the air freight and passenger business at the airport. Port authority officials attribute the decline to large increases in the price of jet fuel.

The Web site provides numerous links to aviation services, some of them far removed from Toledo, such as London Airport Transport and New York Limo Car.

The site says the current operator has been responsible for huge operating losses.

“Privatization, on the other hand, would relieve taxpayers of having to pay for any operating deficits. In fact, it would lead to considerable property development, which would increase property tax revenues,” the Treeces’ Web site says. It adds that if they fail, management would revert to the city with no negative impact on taxpayers.

Last week, port President Paul Toth advised Mr. Treece to have his discussions about the airport with the city of Toledo, while Mayor-elect D. Michael Collins has broken off discussions with the Treeces.

Contact Tom Troy at tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.



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