PUNTA GORDA — We’re hearing from a Punta Gorda man in the middle of a fight to save his business.
Jerry Goin runs Gulf Contours, a vinyl manufacturer. He’s been leasing space from the Punta Gorda Airport, but last week the Airport Authority Board told him he has until the end of the month to get out.
Goin has been has been making vinyl products in a warehouse on the airport's property for more than 20 years. It’s full of giant, larger than life machines. Machines that now have to be out of there by the end of the month.
“We can’t just drive a pickup truck here and move," said Goin.
Goin said, because of his company's space and electricity requirements, there isn’t another building to move into even if they wanted to leave.
“We have searched Charlotte County for an alternate location, and frankly there isn’t any," said Goin.
Goin said his business is getting evicted because the Airport Authority needs the space in his building to store more fuel tanks, as Allegiant Airlines expands its operations at the Punta Gorda Airport.
“The idea that putting all these people out of work for a storage building, or storage, doesn’t make much sense to me," said Goin.
At an emergency meeting of the Airport Authority Board last week, member Vanessa Oliver said it didn’t make much sense to her either.
“The result will eliminate a source of supplemental income, reduce manufacturing on airport-owned lands, and most importantly, eliminate 14 Charlotte County jobs," said Oliver during the meeting.
But her colleagues, including board member Robert Hancik, didn’t agree.
“It’s been in our master plan to clear that thing out of there. I’ve been in their building, and quite frankly it’s a, my opinion, it’s a junk building," said Hancik during the meeting.
Goin said, his only hope at this point is to appeal to the board one more time to get a lease extension. He's asking for one more year to find a new location to move to.
“Hopefully they’ll be agreeable to extending it," said Goin.
Goin will be going before the Board again Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. to make one final plea for a lease extension for his business.