Terminal finish set for end of November

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

CARROLL COUNTY -- Although the new terminal building at the Carroll County Airport is slightly behind schedule, it should still be completed near the end of November.

Dave Teigen, chairman of the Carroll County Airport Commission, said the building is taking shape nicely, and should be dried-in within the next two weeks.

At a CCAC meeting Thursday, Teigen said he had attended a meeting with contractors earlier in the day, working out issues involving the building's exterior.

Teigen also related the input he has been receiving from others in the regional aviation community. "Everybody loves the design," he said.

Acquisition plans

Although the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics has run low on grant funds, the commissioners pursued the possibility of obtaining a grant to purchase property adjacent to the airport for future uses.

The property, owned by Dr. Alice Martinson, is about 14 acres, with an asking price of $130,000.

The ADA will not award a grant in excess of appraised values to buy property, and some commissioners noted that the asking price per acre was higher than a parcel which had been appraised in the past year.

The commissioners voted to appraise the property, and to let the Federal Aviation Administration know the airport is interested in the acquisition, in case federal grant funds are available.

Within the past two years, two smaller parcels have been sold from a larger piece of property which included the 14 acres in question, and those sales may help establish a value for the property the airport is considering.

Adding hangars

The commissioners have discussed at recent meetings the possibility of using innovative financing to build new hangars.

Under the plan, someone wanting to lease a hangar would make a down payment to cover about 12 years' payments on a lease. That down payment would be used as the airport's match for grant funds.

The airport would not collect any lease payments until the end of that initial 12 years, at which time a fair market value would be established.

Teigen said a typical hangar costs $50,000, and the airport's matching portion would be $10,000. Collecting a down payment of $15,000 would leave some funds left over to take care of maintenance.

The commissioners were generally in favor of the plan, and Teigen distributed copies of some sample leases for consideration.

Miscellaneous

* Traffic counts at the airport have increased, and the availability of courtesy vehicles has played a part in that, according to reports from visiting pilots. The commissioners again expressed their thanks to the Faith Christian Family Church for the donation of a van to the airport.

* Construction on a south ramp is in progress, and the dirt work should be completed within a couple of weeks. Some of the dirt excavated for the project will be used to fill in a low spot past the end of the runway.

* The commissioners will study minimum standards for hangar construction and for businesses operating at the airport at the December meeting.

* Teigen said he has been unable to find an official copy of the commission's by-laws on file at the courthouse, and he asked the commissioners to review copies of the by-laws for a formal ratification. Language allowing email meetings in case of exigent circumstances will be removed until the commission reviews how those virtual meetings can satisfy the requirements of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

* The commission recently bought back a portion of a hangar lease, and that hangar will be demolished to improve access to fuel tanks.

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