An ongoing issue with a lease between the Walnut Ridge Airport Commission and the Scott Fetzer Company has resulted in the filing of a lawsuit by the city of Walnut Ridge.
Filing of the lawsuit was announced in a statement by Mayor Charles Snapp that was released on Friday.
“The city of Walnut Ridge, by and through the Airport Commission, filed a lawsuit against Scott Fetzer Company and Stone Partners LLC in the Circuit Court of Lawrence County on Feb. 8, 2021,” the statement read.
According to Snapp the complaint includes causes of action for conversion, clouding of a title, breach of contract and trespass regarding approximately 17 acres belonging to the city.
At earlier meetings of the Airport Commission, it was discussed that legal advice was being sought regarding the airport’s lease with Fetzer, who had transferred his lease to another entity without airport commission approval.
In his statement, Snapp noted the importance of maintaining Federal Aviation Administration compliance.
“The citizens of Walnut Ridge have greatly benefited from the past relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration and have received millions of dollars over the years to improve the quality of facilities in and around the airport,” Snapp said. “The actions of Scott Fetzer Company and Stone Partners LLC have damaged that relationship and put the city in jeopardy of falling out of that compliance for federal funding.”
Snapp said the city filed the suit in an effort to not only protect the interest of the citizens, but also protect the relationship with the FAA and the city’s interest of losing past grants and future funds.
“The city’s relationship with federal agencies is of vital importance to the future of the City of Walnut Ridge,” Snapp said. “If the city lost that funding mechanism, we would revert back decades of advancements.”