Airport officials discuss adding electric gate

Thursday, January 21, 2021
File photo

Much of the discussion at Friday’s meeting of the Carroll County Airport Commission revolved around a proposed project to add an additional electric gate to the east side of the facility, one that would provide another secure point of entry for those who rent hangar space at the facility.

According to airport manager Michael Pfeifer, only one bid had initially been received, and there were some questions associated with it.

“They gave us an $11,970 install turnkey for the gate,” Pfeifer said. It’s gone up to $13,970, which is still under the $15,000 approved,” Pfeifer said, adding that the company described the increase as “cost-of-living.”

After additional questions were raised, Pfeifer contacted a company representative during the meeting to give them a chance to answer questions directly, particularly regarding the company’s request to receive half the funds up front.

“We just had a discussion about you asking for a 50-percent advance on it,” said Commissioner Dave Teigen. “That’s kind of out of the ordinary custom for us with contractors. Is that a standard practice in your company?”

The company representative explained that since he doesn’t often do this particular type of work, he doesn’t have credit with the company that would supply the materials for the job.

After hearing from the contractor, commissioners made the decision to seek other bids for the project. The commission has already paid Carroll Electric the sum of $650.53 for a 200-amp meter, wiring fee, connect fee, deposit fee and a new service application fee related to the gate installation project.

Early in the meeting, commissioners heard from Barry Logan, an airport manager from Illinois. Logan plans to retire to the area in the near future, and wished to speak with commissioners about the possibility and associated costs for building a hangar at the airport.

“I don’t have a lot of information on it yet, but I am definitely interested in pursuing this if I can figure out what the financial aspect of it is and see if that is something that would work out well for me,” Logan said.

Presented with the option of leasing a hangar from the commission instead of leasing the land, Logan said he was open to that idea.

“I would look at both options if I had some idea of how much we’re talking to lease a hangar from you,” Logan said. “That would be a lot less upfront cost.”

Teigen offered a basic overview of the airport’s standard lease protocol, one that seemed acceptable to Logan.

“The basic ground lease that we negotiated has been approximately — if you do it in advance — approximately $5 a square foot for a 40-year lease, and there is a nominal up-charge to help take care of the new tarmac that we put in on the south side,” Teigen said. “If you want to pay it on an annual basis, we would have to negotiate the values at that point.”

After the discussion with Logan, commissioners began weighing the possibility of acquiring additional property to expand the facility.

“We are going to need to start putting our mindset on acquiring this property on the south side because we have one ground lease that’s already been sent out,” Teigen said. “We have potentially three additional ground leases right now that we could have. So I think we’re probably going to need to get our mindset ready to proceed and get this. We’re going to need to put that on full speed forward especially if the airport wants to build a big hangar as well to get that done, that south side is going to be full.”

In other business, the commission approved the 2020 year-end expenditures and heard a report from Pfeifer, who delivered news that the airport qualified for an additional grant under the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

“We don’t know what amount yet, but it’s a definite,” Pfeifer said, reading an email he received from Glen Boles, manager of the AR/OK Airports district office of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Southwest Region.

According to the email, “Further updates will be forthcoming once allocation amounts under the formulas are finalized.”

In addition, Pfeifer reported that the airport had received the first half of its reimbursement from the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics for airport payments made toward the South Ramp expansion project, and that $74,679.75 was deposited into the capital improvement account on Dec. 23.

The commission’s next meeting is scheduled for noon on Feb. 19 at the Carroll County Airport.

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