Friday, December 19, 2014

Airport hangar plan takes off

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 7/5/2014

A plan to add more T-hangars to store private aircraft at Ottawa Municipal Airport is taking flight.

Ottawa city commissioners voted 4-1 Wednesday to approve the low bid of $685,879 for the project submitted by MAC Corp, Blue Springs, Missouri. The company’s bid came in about $92,000 below the engineer’s estimate.

A plan to add more T-hangars to store private aircraft at Ottawa Municipal Airport is taking flight.

Ottawa city commissioners voted 4-1 Wednesday to approve the low bid of $685,879 for the project submitted by MAC Corp, Blue Springs, Missouri. The company’s bid came in about $92,000 below the engineer’s estimate.

Demand for more aircraft storage space at the airport would accommodate at least 10 more T-hangars, Bill Ramsey, interim public works director, said at a city study session in May.

“We currently have 10 T-hangars out at the airport and all of those are rented,” Ramsey said.

Because the original bids came in above the engineer’s estimate, the commission rebid the project, which would construct 10 T-hangars and a concrete taxi lane at the airport, 2178 Montana Road.

Brad Weisenburger, with Professional Engineering Consultants, Lawrence, told commissioners he was pleased with the bids this time around. He estimated the project would begin around August and take three to four months to complete once ground was broken.

The Federal Aviation Administration would cover about $330,000 of the project, Weisenburger said.

Scott Bird, the city’s finance director, said the remaining funds for the project — about $400,000 — could be covered through a temporary loan that could be rolled into a city bond issue at a later date with another project, he said, based on advice he received from the city’s bond attorney and financial advisor.

Part of the loan payments could be covered by rent payments for the T-hangars, but that would not cover the entire loan payment, Bird said.

In casting the dissenting vote, commissioner Shawn Dickinson said he would like to explore some other financing options.

“The airport is a great resource for our community,” Dickinson said. “My [no vote] had more to do with the financing with a temporary note and eventually moving into a bond issue. I would like to consider looking at another way to finance that. It’s not because I don’t think the project is needed ... I think the financing is something we need to explore [further].”

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