City preparing for take-off with airport runway realignment project

At the Monday night meeting, city commissioners met with Business Development Manager Alec Boyce from SEH (Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.), the firm that is designing the airport project to realign and lengthen the runway.

Three orders of business were conducted. The first was for commissioners to authorize Mayor Chad Mutziger to execute the Airport grant, a federal grant for $35,000 which provides for COVID-19 related relief. The monies can be used for maintenance or whatever purpose the city chooses for the airport; it is not connected to the $230,000 FAA grant for the realignment project that was approved in 2019.

The second motion was to execute an environmental assessment, the first stage in the process of getting a longer runway. It examines what impact the longer runway would have on the area surrounding the airport. An independent third party fee estimate was needed to fulfill federal grant requirements, and Brosz Engineering has conducted that third party fee estimate. Their valuation of the project came in at $281,000, which was within the required 10 percent of SEH’s $221,400 projection.

Once the environmental assessment is completed, the city will be able to begin the land acquisition part of the project.

Typically the federal government provides 90 percent of the funds, with the state and local agencies providing five percent ($11,500) each; however, due to COVID-19, the government will now provide 100 percent of the funds. The deadline for filing was the next day, June 16, requiring commissioners to expedite approving the independent fee estimate.

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Chamberlain Sun

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