Airport funding approved

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Everything takes a little something to get, Airport Manager Jerry Hoberg said.

About a week ago, Moffat County Regional Airport officials thought they had secured enough grant funding for their proposed terminal construction project, and would have about $32,000 left over.

The Federal Aviation Administration contacted Moffat County Regional Airport officials and said the agency would grant another $39,000 - in addition to $111,240 already granted - and allow officials to use $13,000 leftover from a project a few years ago.

Airport officials needed that money for the project.

Bids on the terminal project received by the county came in about $120,000 more than expected.

On top of that, the FAA had reduced its promised $150,000 grant to the roughly $111,000 grant originally received.

It looked like the terminal project would have to be abandoned, even after dedicating about $92,000 meant to repave the airport parking lot to the terminal, Airport Manager Jerry Hoberg said.

That is, until the FAA agreed to provide the missing $39,000 and an extra $13,000.

"All of a sudden, when the federal government originally said it would give us $150,000, and then didn't, now they're going to give us that money," Hoberg said.

With one catch: FAA grants require a 5 percent cash match. That meant Hoberg had to secure another $2,042 from the city and county each before he could accept the additional money.

Local government officials said they were surprised to see Hoberg requesting more money for the project, but the amount seemed like a small donation for a large investment.

The Moffat County Commission and the Craig City Council approved the funding request. Members said they were glad to see the project go forward.

"If it only takes $2,000 to make this happen, I don't have a problem with that," Commissioner Tom Mathers said.

Repaving the parking lot will be delayed to next year.

Commission members said they planned to petition the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for a grant to pay for "fixing up" all county parking lots, and could include the airport lot with that proposal.

Hoberg said he knew there was some talk in the community that the city and county would be better off not paying for a subsidized airport.

However, he added, the feedback airport officials get from pilots who fly into Moffat County is very gracious. In the minds of the pilots, the airport is an important part of the area.

"There are two TriState pilots that fly into here every now and then, and they say they'd rather land at Craig than any airport in the state when it's bad weather out," Hoberg said. "The city and the county can feel good about that."

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com

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