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JRAA Hangar Plan Moves Forward A Bit

Posted on 6/20/2013

The Jamestown Regional Airport Authority approved a contract Wednesday with Interstate Engineering to design a new hangar building.

At its regular meeting Wednesday the board reviewed revised plans for the proposed hangar, which would house anywhere from 8 to 12 bays for commercial and general aviation airplanes. The board has worked with a proposed 12-bay hangar design based on a hangar built in Mandan, N.D., that had an estimated cost of $770,000, including a fire suppression system.

At a special meeting last week the board formed a committee with Keith Veil, Board Chairman Jim Boyd and Airport Manager Matt Leitner to come up with ways to reduce the cost of the building.

Aldinger said Wednesday the committee did reduce the size of the entrance ways into the airplane bays, from 50 feet wide to 42 feet wide, which reduced the costs to $650,000.

The board committed to paying Interstate Engineering $30,000 for the design of the hangar building, but left open how big the building will be and how many airplane bays it will house. The board didn't take action on a similar contract to design the taxilanes for the new hangar once it's built.

Leitner said while the board didn't fully commit to building a new hangar, this is a positive step forward.

"There hasn't been a new hangar built at the Jamestown airport in decades," he said.

If the board formally approves a design and moves forward with building a new hangar building, construction would start sometime in spring 2014.

Since the hangar would be constructed for leasing space for private use, the JRAA doesn't qualify for federally funded grants to fund the building's construction. Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen, the city's representative on the board, said she did some research and found the airport's best funding option would be a loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Loan program.

She presented the board with figures assuming a 40-year loan with an interest rate of 3.5 percent. If the project cost is $600,000, the authority would have to come up with a $28,000 annual payment. For $700,000 the annual payment would be $32,779, and for $775,0000 the annual payment is $36,291.

Andersen said she also came up with a way for the airport to cover an annual payment based on the number of airplane bays included in the building and how much rent is charged per month.

Assuming the airport had 12 bays rented for $200 a month each, that would generate $28,800 a year, which would cover the payment for a $600,000 loan. If there were 14 bays rented at $200 a month, that would generate enough annually to cover a $700,000 loan. If the airport charged $250 per bay for 12 bays per month, those rents would cover the annual payment for a $775,000 loan.

Andersen said she didn't include inflation or other potential costs in her calculations, but said she believes the board can find a way to pay for the new building through the USDA program.

Leitner said that, based on the number of people who attended an information meeting about a proposed new hangar building in February, he believed there would be no problem finding individuals or companies to rent the new hangar space.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at colson@jamestownsun.com