By RICK HAYES
MT. VERNON — —
Given two options for the construction project at Innovation Park, the Mt. Vernon Airport Authority on Tuesday approved a total project cost of $420,000, raising the monthly payment to $111.
Airport Manager Chris Collins explained the differences in the options is the first option consists of an 80- by 80-hangar, and the second option includes the hangar and a 25- by 25-sqare feet office building. Commissioners approved the second option.
“It’s been a long time, and it is a new way of funding the project. We’re using revenues from the airport to pay for this,” explained Collins. “What we hope to do is allow for this to become a new funding mechanism for the airport. In the past, we’ve had to issue bonds to capitalize projects.”
Bid awards were presented to Lipps Construction as the general contractor, Sheridan Concrete for concrete, Mideastern Heating and Air for plumbing and sewer work, and KT Electric for electrical services.
The Innovation Park project also includes a ramp. That $585,000 project is being funded through state and federal monies, with a local share cost of $29,000.
Collins said the local bank financing the project — Bean Capital Development Center — has agreed to provide the additional $20,000 to finance the project and the airport’s monthly payment will increase from $2,000 to $2,111. The Authority is also using money from its Capital Projects Fund to help finance the project.
Collins reported that the total project cost was about $33,000 over budget before he met with Project Manager Kerry Lipps and architect Brian Edmison earlier this week. The trio were able to find some deductions for the project, which brought the project cost back down to the new estimates.
One of the major issues facing the district was whether to replace existing water and sewer lines.
“We could’ve used what was there, but it would’ve been under new buildings so we chose to do it the right way and put in new utilities,” Collins said.
To make way for the new hangar and ramp, airport officials are in the process of tearing down a maintenance building on the southwest quadrant of the airport property.
“It [the hangar and ramp] will be the first glimpse of what you see of our airport as you travel down Route 15. That’s why it’s important to get it right,” Collins said. “We’re hoping it’s desirable to get the attractiveness that we can promote and to get other tenancy.”
Following the Authority’s meeting in February in which contracts will be reviewed and approved, officials project that groundbreaking could occur by the end of February with construction commencing immediately. Edmison said he believes the project could be concluded by June 1.