Update provided on airport expansion

An aerial view of the Greensburg Municipal Airport.

GREENSBURG – A few updates were provided on the airport expansion during this week’s meeting of the Greensburg Board of Aviation.

Colin Sullivan of BF&S delivered the brief updates to the board.

“We have the survey complete and the geotechnical has been completed,” Sullivan said, “and we are continuing on with the design as scheduled. So, everything is on track.”

From the Board of Aviation, Bill Ernstes relayed information from their attorney, Donald J. Tribbett, in regards to land acquisition. Ernstes said an agreement has been signed for three different properties, and they are now able to acquire those properties via eminent domain. Ernstes said appraisers have been appointed.

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.

Background information

The city council passed the second reading of the airport expansion ordinance in March 2019 on a 4-1 vote.

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.

New board member

Former Greensburg Mayor Gary Bailey was sworn-in as a member of the Board of Aviation.

The Board of Aviation will next meet at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at City Hall.

Joshua Heath can be contacted at 812-663-3111 ext. 217401 or at joshua.heath@greensburgdailynews.com

Joshua Heath can be contacted at 812-663-3111 ext. 217401 or at joshua.heath@greensburgdailynews.com

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