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JRA receives grants for four projects

by JRA receives grants for four projects

Posted on 5/15/2014

The Jamestown Regional Airport received $241,400 in grants last week from the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission for four projects the Jamestown Regional Airport Authority plans to have completed this year.

Jamestown Regional Airport Manager Matt Leitner said the authority had requested grant funding for six projects with a total cost of $3,248,017. The authority asked for $1,435,716 in state grants to help cover those projects' costs. The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission did not provide any funding for two of those requests - $294,316 for rehabilitating the west taxilane and $900,000 for construction of new community T-hangars.

The commission approved the following grant requests for the Jamestown Regional Airport:

* $146,700 for filling in cracks on the main runway and painting new markings

* $37,500 for the purchase of a new airport rescue and firefighting truck

* $50,000 for a wetlands reduction project

* $7,200 for an environment assessment for jet service

Of the four projects that received funding from the aeronautics commission, the wetlands reduction project is the biggest at $1 million. Earlier this year the Jamestown Regional Airport Authority was awarded a $900,000 grant through the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to eliminate a patch of wetlands in the southeast part of the airport's property.

Steve Aldinger, an engineer with Interstate Engineering in Jamestown, said the federal grant requires a 5 percent match from both the state and the local government that applied for the grant. Aldinger will recommend to the authority at its meeting May 21 that he advertise for bids for the project. If the authority approves the recommendation, bids would be advertised on May 26 and opened on June 16.

"Work could possibly start on the (wetland reduction) project by the end of June," he said.

Leitner said part of the project would be creating new wetlands on airport-owned property to the north of the airport. He said the wetlands attract birds, and the authority wants to reduce the chance for bird strikes on airplanes as much as possible.

The authority will purchase a new airport rescue and firefighting truck. Leitner said the authority received a $750,000 federal government grant to help purchase a new ARFF truck. Like with the FAA grant for the wetland reduction project, both the state and local government need to provide a 5 percent match.

Leitner said the existing ARFF truck is fully operational and meets all the requirements for the 50-seat CRJ-200 jets that will be taking off and landing at the Jamestown Regional Airport starting June 5. United Airlines, through SkyWest Airlines, will be offering daily flights between Jamestown Regional Airport, Devils Lake Regional Airport and Denver using 50-seat CRJ-200 jets. The new ARFF truck will be larger, with a 1,500-gallon tank versus the existing truck, which has a 500-gallon tank.

"We would like to be proactive should Jamestown's commercial air service be enhanced in the future by jets with more seating capacity - 70 or 90 seats," Leitner said. "The truck we have now more than meets our needs."

The authority will trade in the existing firetruck once the new truck arrives.

The authority may also consider seeking bids for the new truck at its May 21 meeting as well, Leitner said.

The environmental assessment for jet service at the airport has already been completed by Aldinger. The authority submitted the grant request to cover most of the assessment's $8,000 cost.

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