Friday, April 20, 2018

Meriden Markham Municipal Airport (KMMK) seeks funds to replace WWII-era hangar







MERIDEN — City Councilor and Finance Committee Chairman Brian Daniels asked aviation officials to bring back more details on plans to replace a World War II-era Quonset hut at Meriden-Markham Airport.

Wilma Petro, the city’s liaison to the airport, is seeking new bids on the cost to demolish and rebuild the hut that would house up to six planes. 

”It was originally $375,000 to demolish and rebuild,” Petro said. 

Petro said Russell Ford, the former facilities director, estimated the cost at $375,000 and it was inserted as a line item in the city’s capital improvement budget. But Petro thinks she can put it out to bid to lower it.

“It has to be entirely replaced,” Daniels said. “Wilma is going to get more accurate cost estimates. We’ll move it from the capital improvement budget and they can come back later in the year when they have more specifics.” 

Airport director Constance Costello said the quonset hut can hold six larger planes that require more security than a tie down. After building four new hangars in recent years, Meriden Markham still has a waiting list of 65 pilots in need of storage space. Much of the increase in small craft storage comes from airports such as Oxford-Waterbury, Tweed, and Brainard accepting more corporate jets, thus sending the smaller craft to Meriden, Robertson, and Chester. 

“We’ve been going before the committee to educate them on the airport,” Costello said. “This is an income producing building.”

Petro said although the hut can accommodate six planes, five pilots are willing to pay extra to keep only five in there and avoid having to move them. 

Costello said it was generating $15,000 in annual income but the airport can expect between $18,000 and $20,000 with a new building.

“We’re looking toward the future,” Petro said. “We’re putting up some bigger hangers. Bigger planes are flying into our airport. We are building hangars that will hold bigger planes.”

Original article ➤ http://www.myrecordjournal.com

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