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JRAA to decide on hangars

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JRAA to decide on hangars
Jamestown North Dakota 121 3rd St NW 58401

The Jamestown Regional Airport Authority will likely make a decision on building 10 new hangars at its September meeting.

The authority again reviewed options for funding a $700,000 project that would build the hangars near the terminal building at its meeting Wednesday. It directed project engineer Steve Aldinger to bring four options for funding the project back for the authority to consider and possibly make a decision at its regular meeting in September.

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Airport Manager Matt Leitner said because these hangars would be for private use, the authority is limited in how it can pay for the project up front.

The authority has previously discussed seeking a public vote on a mill property tax levy to fund the new hangar project. Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen, the City Council's representative on the authority, said the authority needs to look at alternate sources of revenue beyond asking for a mill vote. She suggested assessing a fee on the fuel sold for airplane use.

Authority Chairman Jim Boyd said he would rather the board exhaust all other possible avenues for generating revenues before assessing a fee on fuel.

The board has looked at providing the upfront funding for the project through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Loans program, or getting a bond through the North Dakota Finance Authority. Either option has challenges, Andersen said, as paying off a loan or bond would likely take 20 to 30 years.

Aldinger said the authority could look at taking out a shorter-term loan, building the hangars, then selling each hangar bay as an individual property, like a condominium.

Authority members said they support building the new hangars as they see Jamestown's economic growth continuing for many years.

"There are a lot of positives happening in Stutsman County," Boyd said. "We may need to bite the bullet to get this (hangar project) going."

In other business, Leitner reported the number of Great Lakes Airlines passengers embarking for flights in July was 247, the highest number so far this year. That number is up 13.3 percent from July 2012. So far this year 1,468 passengers have flown out of Jamestown Regional Airport on Great Lakes Airlines.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at colson@jamestownsun.com

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