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Airport Authority works on new terminal

Posted on 12/11/2008

The Jamestown Regional Airport Authority heard a report Wednesday from Andrew Schneider, airport manager, and Steve Aldinger, project manager for Interstate Engineering, concerning early planning work being done for an update to the terminal building.

"It is possible to tear down the west portion of the existing terminal and replace it with a new passenger terminal space," Schneider said. "The old east portion would be remodeled into administrative space."

Funding was the biggest issue concerning the plan. The Federal Aviation Administration currently caps funding for terminal construction at $200,000 per year. The project currently has an early cost estimate of $1.8 million prompting a plan to do the construction in phases over three years allowing more FAA money to be applied. The airport also has some current FAA entitlement money not committed that could be applied to a future terminal plan as well as savings that, when all totaled, would give the airport $1.2 million in resources. The remaining $600,000 would have to come from local sources.

"The concern is that the $200,000 per year is not guaranteed in the future," Aldinger said. "If the government doesn't fund that program a year or two into the project the airport would either have to complete the terminal with its own funds or repay the FAA if the project is abandoned."

The board took no action on the report with Aldinger and Schneider authorized to continue meetings with the FAA and the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

The board did approve the engineering work done by Interstate on the projects slated for 2009. The airport intends to crack seal all surfaces, rejuvenate all asphalt surfaces and repaint all surfaces. If additional FAA funding is available the airport plans to replace asphalt runway shoulders with sod as well.

Pending any special meetings, Art Todd III participated in his last meeting on the airport authority. Todd, a member of the board for five years, is spending a larger amount of time away from Jamestown since his retirement and said the board needs members who are in town and could take a hands-on approach to the management of the board.

He will be replaced, as of Jan. 1, by Merle Bingham. Bingham served on the board until December 2007 when he resigned because he no longer resided in Jamestown. He has since returned to the community.

The board also approved 6 percent pay raises for the airports two operational personnel. Schneider had suggested the raises to bring pay levels in Jamestown closer to the salaries paid for similar work in Bismarck.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at knorman@jamestownsun.com