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Airport begins process for terminal expansion project

Posted on 9/16/2010

The Jamestown Regional Airport Authority scheduled a pre-construction meeting for the terminal expansion project for 2 p.m. on Sept. 22 at the terminal board room. The meeting will involve engineers, board members and the contractor, Wick Construction of Valley City.

"At that time we'll find out how soon they want to start and when we can schedule the ground breaking," said Steve Aldinger, project engineer for Interstate Engineering.

Bids were opened for the terminal reconstruction project in July and awarded in August contingent on the funding of the FAA grant program that furnishes much of the funding for the project. Aldinger said the grants were finalized and the contracts were signed.

The basic bid for the new passenger terminal and renovation of the existing terminal for administrative use was $1.9 million. Construction is planned to start this fall with completion in the fall of 2011.

In other business, Andrew Schneider, airport manager, reported 372 boardings for August and more than 200 boardings for the first half of September. Schneider said the projected total boardings for 2010 could approach 4,000. This compares to 2,200 in 2007.

"I have people stop me on the street to talk about the airport," said Jim Boyd, chairman of the airport board. "Almost all the comments are positive with competitive rates always important."

The board also discussed the possibility of adding a fuel flowage charge. This would be a fee, similar to a gas tax, added to all aviation fuel sold at the airport.

"Our cash reserves are down about 50 percent since 2007," said Dennis Nelson, board member. "We need to look at ways to keep from the continual negative cash flow."

Schneider said many other airports did charge a fuel flowage charge but also agreed to look at other ways to curb expenses.

The board voted unanimously to place one of the hangers at the airport it owns for sale by sealed bids. The building has a leaking roof causing mold damage to an office area within the building. It had been previously listed for sale by a real estate agent but had received no offers, Schneider said.

"There's not $5,000 or $6,000 in a bank account waiting to fix this roof," Schneider said.

The solicitation for bids will list the building "as-is" with the purchaser taking on the land lease for the building site and being limited to only aviation activities.

The board also approved a change in its meeting schedule to 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. The board had previously met on the second Wednesday which made finalizing the previous month's financial reports on time difficult.

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