In the past two months, the airport authority has approved another $139,000 for expert witnesses and authorized to pay its Washington, D.C., law firm, Hogan and Hartson, $300 an hour to continue litigation.
In the meantime, the debt increases by $2,694 per day. By April 19, another $342,238 in interest and penalties will be added.
End of Doughty's tenure?
When Doughty arrived from Denver International Airport, LVIA officials felt lucky to get him and Denver officials expressed regret in losing their aviation director to the Lehigh Valley.
That was 17 years ago, and while many board members say he's been masterful in running the Valley's airport through two recessions and a fuel crisis the past eight years, Doughty no longer has the confidence of the people who appoint four new board members each year.
The three-year contract paying him $148,000 a year expires at the end of 2011, and if Stoffa had a vote, someone else would soon be worrying about how the airport will increase traffic and pay its debt.
"He's been here a long time, but sometimes, it's just time for a change," Stoffa said. "Sometimes an operation benefits from new leadership with a fresh set of eyes."
Doughty said he won't lose focus over that thought.
"I can't be concerned with contract renewals that are two years away," Doughty said. "I have an airport to run."
A committee of the airport's board reconsidered the viability of Lehigh Valley Air, which flew briefly in 2005, as a way of boosting air service at LVIA.
Among complaints are dwindling passenger volume, plane capacity.
Passenger volume crept up 0.5 percent in January to 55,315, compared to the same month in 2005.
The airport authority offered the cash bonuses as part of the contract because the employees will receive wage increases that are below the rate of inflation.