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Terminal Project Price May Drop

Posted on 1/15/2009

Price may drop on terminal project
Keith Norman The Jamestown Sun
Published Thursday, January 15, 2009

The interim director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission suggested Wednesday that the James-town Regional Airport Authority consider reducing the price it hopes to spend on a terminal expansion.

Mark Holzer proposed a terminal expansion with about a $1 million price tag rather than the $2 million previously discussed.

"It's important to build the right terminal building," he said. "This is the building you'll be looking at for the next 30 to 50 years."

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He presented plans and cost estimates for terminals recently constructed at Williston, Dickinson and Devils Lake. Based on those examples he suggested a 5,000 square-foot terminal project with an estimated cost of $200 per square foot was possible.

If the project is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration funding would be available for 95 percent of the costs of areas open to the public. Local and state funding would be responsible for other costs.

"I think we all agree to cut it down as much as possible," said Johnny Klingenberg, Airport Authority chairman. "But I don't want to see it cut to the point it doesn't do the job."

Airport Manager Andrew Schneider, Klingenberg, as well as engineers and architects are scheduled to tour some of the newer airports in the region later this month, the first step toward developing a design for the terminal addition.

The plan is to have the design complete in time for the next round of Aeronautics Commission meetings in May. In order to accomplish this design meetings, which may include the public, could begin as early as February. The final decision on whether to proceed with the project will likely come in May.

In other business the board tabled the purchase of a new snowplow attachment for an existing loader. Even though the old plow has broken down several times during the past weeks the new equipment would not be available until April even if purchased now.

The board also heard a report that December boardings were up.

"We had 399 boardings in December," Schneider said. "That is the highest month in over 10 years. Our average boardings since the non-stop flight to Minneapolis was started in May is now 270 people per month. This compares to about 190 people per month before that flight."

The board also expressed concern that members of the Jamestown Air Fest Committee were not at the meeting. They had been invited to present a final report on the their fundraising efforts to retire the debt the airport had undertaken to cover the cost overruns of the show.

In August the Airport Authority secured a loan to cover the approximately $75,000 that the Air Fest had lost during the June event.

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