Appraisals for airport expansion in final stretch

Joshua Heath | Daily News | Paul Shaffer speaks before the Airport Board about the appraisal process for the airport runway expansion project.

GREENSBURG — An update on the property appraisal process for the airport expansion project was provided during this week’s Greensburg Airport Board meeting.

As previously reported by the Daily News, an estimated 147.17 acres of land will be affected by the runway replacement and realignment. An additional 33.06 acres of land will have only overhead airspace affected; meaning nothing tall could be constructed to block the runway. A total of seven property owners are involved, with varying amounts of land from each.

The planned runway is expected be 5,405 foot long by 100 foot wide. It would be placed west and south of the current runway, and would transform the local airport to a business class facility.

On behalf of engineering firm BF&S, Paul Shaffer relayed a message from attorney Donald Tribbett, telling the board the appraisal process has been completed and they are now in the review appraisal stage.

“He [Tribbett] expected to have the appraisals and review appraisals back by this meeting, but it’s taking a little longer than anticipated,” Shaffer said. “The appraisers are being very thorough with their inspection on the properties to be acquired, as well as the comparables for use in establishing the value.”

Shaffer said Tribbett expects to have several of the appraisals done by the August board meeting, and expects to be at the meeting in person to present that information.

Old news, background information

The city passed the second reading of the airport expansion ordinance in March. The ordinance passed on a 4-1 by the city council.

The ordinance states the estimated total cost of funding the project is in an amount not to exceed $3.5 million. This includes paying capitalized interest, if necessary, refunding the outstanding note, and issuance expenses.

The project’s financing would be similar to a line of credit; the airport authority will draw down funds as needed to take care of costs as they are incurred instead of borrowing a lump sum of money up front. The funds borrowed will be around $3.5 million, as stated in the ordinance.

The outstanding note is in reference to a 2007 ordinance where $1.6 million was borrowed to purchase the airport. The city currently owes $270,122.75.

The airport expansion is an estimated $10 million project, which the Greensburg Aviation Board has said will be funded through an FAA grant.

The grant is what’s known as a reimbursement grant, which means the city will put up the initial funding for the project and 95 percent of the cost will be returned.

While the estimated cost of the airport expansion is around $10 million, the local share of that outside of grant funds is five percent, or roughly $500,000. Those monies will come from the city’s EDIT funds.

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Contact: Joshua Heath, 812-663-3111 x7401; joshua.heath@greensburgdailynews.com.