County’s funds to YVRA up in the air |

County’s funds to YVRA up in the air

Brandon Johnson

Moffat County commissioners aren’t sure they’ll contribute to Yampa Valley Regional Airport in 2006.

Officials from the airport, which is in Routt County, recently asked the commissioners to contribute $15,000 to a terminal expansion project. The terminal expansion is part of $13 million worth of improvements at the airport east of Hayden.

But commissioners said any contribution to the airport is contingent on Referendum 1A passing on the November ballot.

Referendum 1A asks voters to allow the county to keep revenues that would otherwise be given back to taxpayers under a law from 1913.

According to the county’s estimates, the referendum would add $1.2 million to the county’s coffers during the next two years. It would cost homeowners about $20 per $100,000 in property value during the next two years. The referendum would cost a business $72 per $100,000 of property value.

If the referendum fails, commissioners say they will cut 5 percent from every entity to offset rising energy costs and pay for capital projects.

Without the money from the referendum, commissioners say they won’t be able to afford contributing to the airport.

“I know that we’re not going to have that money,” Commissioner Darryl Steele said.

Even if the referendum passes, commissioners aren’t sure they will contribute.

“We’ll think about it,” Com-missioner Steele said.

Commissioners hope to use the money from the referendum for capital projects in Moffat County, including new equipment for the Road and Bridge Department and the Sheriff’s Office.

“It may not be as important as some of the other things on our plate,” Steele said.

Commissioner Tom Gray said he has reservations about contributing to a capital project in another county.

“That is a little hard for me,” Gray said.

Gray also said he was concerned the request for $15,000 would be followed by another request to help subsidize fall flights into the airport.

The airport guaranteed Delta $300,000 in revenue for the fall flights. If revenues fall short of the guarantee, the airport makes up the difference. Airport officials are asking various county entities to help fund that difference.

Ann Copeland, YVRA’s manager of landside and terminal operations, said YVRA might ask the county for help with the fall flights next year but this year is asking for money for the terminal project.

Copeland said that if Moffat County rejects the proposal, she will continue to ask other entities for help.

“I know their budget, just like everyone else’s, is pretty tight,” she said.

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