Local officials agree that the Moffat County Regional Airport needs a new terminal building. The airport is an important component in the local infrastructure, officials said.

Photo by Jerry Raehal

Local officials agree that the Moffat County Regional Airport needs a new terminal building. The airport is an important component in the local infrastructure, officials said.

Airport renovation dollars uncertain

• Moffat County and city of Craig officials plan to renovate the Moffat County Regional Airport by building a new terminal and parking lot.

• Original plans had a Federal Aviation Administration grant for $150,000 covering most terminal costs.

• Because the FAA likely will not award the full amount, officials are looking at alternative funding from state agencies.

• Ray Beck, Airport Advisory Board chairman, said the granting snag could delay the project's completion by about two months, from, until next winter.

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The Moffat County Regional Airport's terminal building is in disrepair, local officials agree. Current plans are to install a new, pre-constructed terminal building east of the current location.

With its Federal Aviation Administration grant delayed and likely lower than expected, the Moffat County Regional Airport renovation project is in uncertain times, said Ray Beck, Airport Advisory Board chairman.

But, concern does not necessarily mean doubt, said Beck, who is also a Craig city councilor.

"I don't know that I'm worried about it; I'm concerned about it," he said. "Until we see the money, we cannot move forward with any of the projects until we get the funding for them."

County and city officials have said the airport is an important part of the area's infrastructure and improvements to the terminal building are long overdue.

The proposed renovation project would demolish the current terminal building in favor of a new manufactured or metal-frame building, depending on received funding, Beck said.

The airport's parking lot also would be repaved.

"We're excited about the possibilities of improvements to the airport," Beck said. "Transportation is really important to the area."

Moffat County originally applied for a $150,000 grant from the FAA in the fall, and at the time officials expected to hear whether it would receive the money by December 2007.

But, the U.S. Congress held onto the appropriations bill containing the FAA funding until the end of February, Beck said.

As of Monday, Beck did not know whether the FAA had approved Moffat County's grant, but he said signs pointed to the county receiving 75 percent of its request, which would bring in $112,500.

Moffat County, working with the city, would supplement the FAA funding with a possible grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation, Beck said. The current idea is to apply for $75,176 from CDOT, with a small match possibly coming through a second Colorado Department of Local Affairs grant.

Funding for the parking lot project is already secured, Beck said, with an approved $92,673 grant from DOLA.

In addition to $7,500 in cash matches to that grant, the city and county plan to provide $35,000 worth of in-kind labor and equipment.

Beck estimated the problems with securing FAA dollars put a two-month delay on the airport's projects. If the state agrees to provide the other grants, construction could be done by next winter, he said. The projects originally were slated for September.

It could also fall to two phases, Beck said, with the terminal's foundation and infrastructure work done this year and the terminal building and parking lot next year.

"Again, these are all preliminary numbers, and we won't know anything for sure until the money starts coming in," Beck said.

Moffat County's airport mostly services medical and privately chartered flights in addition to the permanent staff's work with agricultural spraying, game surveys and other jobs, said Luke Tucker, a pilot and Airport Advisory Board member.

It averages about 10 to 15 operations a day, he said, adding the number will likely increase in the future along with energy industry activity and increased aviation demand around the country.

A new terminal would help the airport meet new demand and serve the area, Tucker said.

"Our terminal is in dire need of replacement," he said.

Comments

oldsage 6 years, 4 months ago

I know, have a bond election and tell everyone your doing it for the children and for economic growth. The stupid people will buy it. They did last year. Use a motto like without a new terminal the children of the community will not be at a disadvantage to the children in Hayden! Come On there is lots of new or old taxes we could raise to get the money. Everybody let's all jump on the band wagon for a new airport. Be a good republican and spend your way to prosperity.

Hey, it just came to me, the county should tax everyone out of the economic stimulus money the feds are adding to the national debt and there would be more than enough to do the airport improvements and the people would not even miss it because it was never their money to begin with, it is their great great grand children's money, and of course who cares about them! Ladies and gentlemen, I just gave you an example of how the elite think when it comes to taking your money! Have a great day!

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jmemcse 6 years, 4 months ago

oldsage - I feel your pain. I wasn't real keen on the 2 bond issues either. I use the hospital in Steamboat, and I send my kid to school in Hayden. However, I do use the airport in Craig and would be willing to contribute towards a new terminal building. Hmmm..... I guess the bottom line is I'm only in favor of whats good for me and screw the community, even though I feel I get treated with kindness and respect from all those that make their homes here; Craig is a great place to live.

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taxslave 6 years, 4 months ago

Nothing will be fixed until "we the people" take back the government they were supposed to represent.

Governments have NO MONEY. What they have is taxes.

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