Thursday, June 27, 2013

Airport plans to expand

At Thursday's meeting of the Carroll County Airport Commission, commissioners discussed the planned expansion of the airport to include more hangars and a longer runway suitable for small jets.

With the expansion of the runway to 4,000 feet, the airport will be able to accommodate small classes of jets; as of now the runway is too short for them, but the expansion will increase the airport's traffic and revenue as well as the county's, said Dave Teigen, chairman of the Airport Commission.

"We get people all the time who call and ask if we have any intentions to expand our runway to 4,000 feet," said Sheila Evans, airport manager. "This is for people who want to do business around here. We are getting more and more folks flying into here for business. We just had some Tyson guys come here and stay for about 45 minutes and then fly out."

The commission approved the leases for the "pre-sale" of the eight hangars they plan to build. Each lease is for $20,000 and 10 years and must be paid up front. After the lease expires, each hangar will have a monthly lease payment of $200. Teigen said that buying the pre-sale lease now will save the renter $4,000, since they are expected to go up to $24,000 for 10 years when the project is near completion.

To build the hangars, the airport will need $400,000. The commission has already raised $100,000 and will attempt to get a loan for the rest. The commission is also looking at options to extend the runway to 4,000 feet with funds outside of their $150,000 budget for the airport improvement plan.

The commission also noted during the meeting that the airport has excess grant money and a proposal was approved Thursday to seek approval to use the excess funds to add a bathroom to the the eight new hangars.

A motion to prohibit vehicles from driving on the taxiway was also approved. The airport has had troubles with large trucks damaging the taxi way because of weight. The new rule will allow travel on the taxiway to and from hangars and aircraft as well as special circumstances such as an emergency medical situation.

Also Thursday, airport commissioners learned that the airport has been advised by attorneys and others that they cannot build a fence to help with the wildlife problems, and that the airport is not liable for drainage problems on the adjacent property.

In the financial review portion of the meeting, commissioners learned that April and May saw a jump in fuel sales over last year, with $9,000 and $13,000 being sold each month, respectively. Officials said June figures also are expected to show an increase in airport use and traffic over last year.


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