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Benedum Airport Authority to meet at 3 p.m. today

by Nora Edinger

REGIONAL EDITOR

BRIDGEPORT -- The outgoing Benedum Airport Authority will meet one more time before a restructured board goes into effect Sunday.

A special meeting is set for 3 p.m. today at the airport terminal, according to Roger Diaz, authority president and a Harrison County commissioner.

"We'll consider naming an airport engineer for the next three years," Diaz said.

Transferring a hangar lease from Dominion-Hope to the Robert C. Byrd Institute is on the agenda, as well.

The meeting comes just two days before a new state law restructures the authority membership. A lawsuit is pending in Kanawha County on whether the law is constitutional.

The outgoing authority's executive committee, which consists primarily of Harrison and Marion county commissioners, also met on Thursday. A member of the incoming authority questioned the legality of the meeting, for which no notification was given.

Lew Brewer, legal counsel for the state Ethics Commission, said the meeting appears to be legal.

"The (open meetings) law applies only to governing bodies," Brewer said.

As long as recommendations of the authority's executive committee can be disregarded when a matter comes up for a vote, the committee does not qualify as a governing body, he said.

Regional editor Nora Edinger can be reached at 626-1447 or by e-mail at nedinger@exponent-telegram.com.

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