The Moffat County Com--mission on Tuesday approved spending more than a half-million dollars to improve the apron at the Craig Municipal Airport.
The county accepted a $502,548 bid from Connell Resources to repair the apron.
Heather Christensen, a project manager at GDA Consulting Engineers, put together a proposal to reduce the construction cost to $502,548. The original bid was $711,438.
Christensen said that gas prices and contractors' preference for privately funded jobs prompted the $200,000 difference.
"Recent publications cite as----phalt prices have increased 41.5 percent since the beginning of 2006," Christensen added.
County commissioner Saed Tayyara said the original price was too high for the county.
"The reason of amending the contract is because the bid is high. We have to trim some of the project," Tayyara said.
One of the things left out of the new proposal is a major crack on the face of the apron.
Christensen said it would take major work to fix the crack.
"This crack is a product of the interface between the clay layer and the granite layer. A fix would be more expensive than available funds."
County planner Ben Crippen said the Airport Advisory Board unanimously voted to accept the amended contract and that additional funding for the project is available from a Federal Aviation Administration grant.
Tayyara made a motion to award the bid to Connell Resources in the amount of $502,548 for improvements to the airport's apron, as recommended by Christensen and GDA.
Commissioner Darryl Steele made an amendment to the motion so that the project is contingent on the FAA funding, which the commission approved.
During the Road and Bridge board report, Linda DeRose and Bill Mack presented the commissioners with two bids for motor graders for the county's roads.
Honnen Equipment, maker of John Deere tractors, submitted a bid for two motor graders for $204,067 each; and Wagner Equipment, maker of Caterpillar tractors, submitted for $255,968 each. Both companies provided trade-in allowance.
Mack recommended the bid be awarded to Wagner for the Caterpillar motor graders, even though the bid was higher.
Commissioner Tom Gray asked about the difference of fuel use for each of the motor graders.
Wayne Goodnow, who works for the Moffat County Road Department, said Caterpillar motor grader used three gallons per hour, versus the John Deere's five gallons per hour.
Gray said that the two-gallon-per-hour difference would add up to thousands of gallons of fuel during a year.
The final price of the two Caterpillar motor graders, after a trade-in allowance, is $407,936.
After the commissioners agreed to accept Wagner Equipment's bid, a representative from the company, Jim Gill, said he was glad to see the board spend time researching its equipment choices.