Fresno pays off $8 million Gap settlement – to itself

City Hall Decides to Submit

Erhard’s letter of August 2006 set in motion behind-the-scenes negotiations between City Hall and the feds. I don’t know what became of the Air21 surety or the RDA loan. I do know that my old colleague at The Bee, Brad Branan, wrote a story in October 2007 on what is now called the Gap Settlement.

The agreement, approved by the City Council three months earlier in closed session, called for the city to pay $5.8 million plus interest to Airports over a 10-year span.

“Mayor Alan Autry previously criticized the land sale, made under his predecessor, Jim Patterson,” Branan wrote. “But Autry said Monday that he sees little choice but to support the settlement with the FAA. The city risks losing millions of dollars in future FAA grants if it continues to fight the agency, he said.”

Branan wrote that Council Member Jerry Duncan viewed the settlement as Fresno’s best option since the FAA originally wanted almost twice as much to settle.

Council Member Larry Westerlund opposed the deal, Branan wrote. “We have a stronger position and could have negotiated a better settlement,” Westerlund said.

Westerlund currently is Mayor Brand’s economic development director.

1 comment
  1. Great analysis.
    Question: Has the City received enough financial benefit from GAP to offset the value of the land they gave away?

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