Jan. 16--The Jamestown Regional Airport Authority will advertise for bids on building a nine-bay T-shaped hangar with an estimated cost of $917,000 without having determined how to pay for the building.
The Airport Authority approved seeking bids Wednesday on the hangar building 6-1, with Mayor Katie Andersen opposed. Steve Aldinger, project engineer with Interstate Engineering, said he should be able to get the bid notice in the local newspaper in time for it to run on Saturday. Bids will be open on Feb. 17 and a recommendation will be brought to the Airport Authority for its Feb. 19 meeting.
The Airport Authority had considered a motion to advertise for bids at its December meeting, but held off as Andersen, along with members Brent Harris and Wayne Mathson, opposed seeking bids until the authority also figured out how it would pay for the project.
Andersen, Airport Authority Vice Chairman Jeff Wilhelm and Airport Manager Matt Leitner have been working on finding an answer to the financing question. Andersen said there different financing options available, from loans from federal government sources to seeking a property tax vote from the public. With the federal government loan programs, Andersen said the Airport Authority would need some kind of collateral and show a source of revenue to pay for the loan.
"I think we need to get more information," Andersen said, about seeking bids before having the financing question answered.
Wilhelm said he understands Andersen's concerns about financing, but asked the Airport Authority to approve advertising for bids so it can get solid numbers on the hangar project.
DeAnn Ament, an official with the North Dakota Public Finance Authority, said the state could include the hangar project as part of some $35 million in bonds the state will be issuing in early March for different improvement projects.
Leitner said the airport does have a certificate of deposit worth about $126,000. Ament said the Airport Authority could use the CD as collateral, but would also have to show how it will make the payments.
In other business, the Airport Authority approved 4-3, with Andersen, Stutsman County Commission representative Craig Neys and Mathson opposed, a 3.7 percent salary increase for Kimberlee Mickelson, administrative assistant for Leitner. Leitner had recommended at 4.5 percent increase. Mickelson's annual salary will increase to $28,160. Andersen said the authority should consider the 4.5 percent increase as it is easier to increase the salary for an experienced employee rather than hire a new person.
Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2014 - The Jamestown Sun, N.D.
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