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10/03/2012

THE MARTIN COUNTY BOARD TUESDAY APPROVED AN OUTLAY OF 100,000 DOLLARS FROM THE CAPITAL RESERVE FUND TO ASSIST WITH THE LOCAL SHARE OF IMPROVEMENTS TO THE FAIRMONT MUNICIPAL AIRPORT. THE CITY INTENDS TO RESURFACE THE MAIN RUNWAY . THE PROJECT WILL FINISH A RENOVATION OF NEARLY ALL THE PAVED SURFACES LOCATED ON THE AIRPORT PROPERTY. ALL TOLD THE CITY HAS EXPENDED OVER 2.5 MILLION DOLLARS ON IMPROVEMENTS SO FAR. THE TOTAL COST FOR CONSTRUCTION AND ENGINEERING ON THE PROJECT WILL APPROXIMATELY 4.8 MILLION.

THE CITY MADE THE REQUEST FOR COUNTY FUNDS BECAUSE UP TO THIS YEAR THE CITY'S FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THESE PROJECTS HAD BEEN 5 PER CENT OF THE TOTAL CONSTRUCTION AND ENGINEERING COST WITH THE BALANCE BEING PAID FOR WITH FEDERAL AND STATE FUNDS. HOWEVER THIS YEAR THE REATHORIZATION OF FEDERAL FUNDING FOR AIRPORTS THIS INCLUDES A 10 PER CENT LOCAL MATCH. THIS CHANGE DOUBLES THE CITY MATCH TO 480,000 DOLLARS FOR 2012-13. THE CITY IS PLANNING TO PROVIDE JUST OVER 130,000 DOLLARS FROM GENERAL OBLIGATIO BONDS LEAVING THE CITY'S SHARE AT ABOUT 350,000 DOLLARS WHICH IS WELL ABOVE THE ESTIMATE USED FOR THE 2012 BUDGET.

THE CITY MADE THE REQUEST BECAUSE THE AIRPORT SERVES MORE THAN JUST THE CITY OF FAIRMONT INCLUDING MTHE REST OF MARTIN COUNTY AND SURROUNDING AREA . THE AIRPORT PROVIDES A GREAT RESOURCE FOR MAY LOCAL BUSINESSES AND IS A MAJOR SELLING POINT FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. A MOTION PASSED BY A THREE- ZERO VOTE WITH COMMISSIONER STEVE PIERCE ABSTAINING BECAUSE HE SERVES ON THE AIRPORT BOARD. COMMISSIONERS DAN SCHMIDTKE AND ELLIOT BELGARD VOTED IN FAVOR BUT EXPRESSED SOME RESERVATION BECAUSE OF THE TIGHT BUDGET CONDITIONS AND THE CITY HAS LEVY AUTHORITY LIKE THE COUNTY AND COULD HAVE INCREASED THEIR OWN BUDGET IF NEED BE.


ROD HALVORSEN
© 2010 KSUM.


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