More from this week's City Council meeting

For several months the city staff has been working to move forward with a plan for developing new T-hangars at the Augusta Municipal Airport.  The Airport Advisory Board studied the project earlier this year and recommended two 10-unit hangar buildings with one mechanical room per building and insulation on the roof, exterior walls, and the bi-fold doors. The City Council voted to table acceptance of the recommendation until the cost of the erecting the steel buildings could be determined.  
Estimates were gathered and at the Aug. 24th Airport Advisory Board meeting, the airport consulting engineer, Brad Waller, Alfred Benesch & Co., suggested submitting a grant to the Kansas Department of Transportation to help cover the cost of the taxi lane extension.
 At this week’s City Council meeting, City Manager Josh Shaw reminded Council that the initial project called for two rows of new T-hangars to be constructed immediately south of the existing T-hangars, and the project orignally relied upon funding from the Augusta Pride and Progress bond initiative, $400,000.  
As initial project costs estimates were received, additional cash $350,000 previously allocated for airport utility extension was also recognized as an additional funding source, which provided $750,000 for the development of T-hangars.  Additional cash received from the dale of the Midfield Complex ($325,000) and KDOT grant funding could also be applied to gie the city the financial resources needed  for the project.  Two-row development without KDOT grant funding will require additional funding sources.
“If you want the grant funding, you need to decide now.  This is time-sensitive,” advised Shaw.
Council member Tom Leffler, also an Airport Advisory board member, said, “Most of the board members are pilots and they are definitely in favor of insulating those buildings.  It’s better for the electronics.”
Assistant City Manager Cody Sims reported that there are 10 planes on the current waiting list for a T-hangar.  Sims worked up five options for the council members to discuss and   and select.
The options for two-row development and one-row development included pricing on the T-hangar buildings, taxi lane extension, foundation/floors, steel erection, electric extension, and engineering.
Option 1  Two-Row Development with KDOT funding
Estimated project cost: $1,292,750
City portion: $932,750
Augusta Pride and Progress Fund ($750,000); KDOT grant ($360,000); and cash from the Midfield Complex sale ($182,750).
Option 2  Two-Row Development with total city funding
Estimated project cost:  $1,292,750
City portion: $1,292,750
This alternative exceeds the total amount of financial resources available to the airport by $217,750.  An alternative funding source would be needed.
Option 3  One-Row Development with KDOT funding
Estimated Project Cost: $711,108
City portion: $486,108
Augusta Pride and Progress ($400,000); KDOT Grant ($225,000), and cash ($86,108).
Option 4  One-Row Development with total city funding
Estimated Project Cost: $711,108
City Portion:  $711,108
Augusta Pride and Progress ($400,000); cash ($311,108).
Option 5  Do nothing
Funds currently dedicated to airport improvements could be used, in whole or in part, to repair existing T-hangar facilities by adding new hangar doors to the individual hangar units.   

“Has the long term vision for the airport changed?” asked councilor Cale Magruder.
“Things are changing all the time,” Shaw responded, “There is value to the T-hangars.  They are helpful to the operation of the airport and would generate revenue.”
Shaw further explained that the Epic Sports Project, which involved Andover and Butler County, had fallen through, along with plans to extend the runway in the near future.
Council members approved, 8-0, Option 1.

Before adjourning to a 30 minute executive session to discuss personnel matters, Councilman Leffler said, “The cemetery looks as good as it ever has.  It’s really neat and clean.  I want to compliment the crew on that.”
A work session to discuss plans for construction of a new public works facility has been scheduled at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 9, at city hall.