On a split vote, the Trenton City Council approved a motion last night to develop plans that could ultimately lead to the possible construction of new hangars to replace aging facilities at the airport.
City Administrator Ron Urton told the council Trenton has $118,000 in Federal Aviation Administration credits that need to be committed or the city will lose the credited funds come September. It was mentioned the city accumulates $150,000 per year in FAA credits for airport work provided the city obligates a ten percent, or $15,000, local match. Six hundred thousand dollars is the maximum amount the city could accumulate in credits.
Urton explained the FAA requires Trenton to have a five-year capital improvement plan for the airport.
Urton stated a request for engineering qualifications is due July 31st and he feels it’ll be beneficial if the city had a hangar plan in place should the council someday decide on actual construction. The vote to proceed with design plans passed with five in favor and two opposed. Voting yes were Glen Briggs, Lou Fisher, Cathie Smith, Dave Mlika, and Larry Crawford. Opposed were Danny Brewer and Brad Chumbley with Councilman John Dolan absent.
Airport manager Donnie Vandevender said rent on the existing hangars, some of which have a gravel base and others have concrete, ranges from $100 to $125. He also characterized them as having construction issues. Any new hangars would be built to FAA specifications including a steel frame, concrete floors and would be built on ground raised above the flood plain.
Another lengthy discussion for last night’s city council was what to do with a vacated airport building that has flooded twice, damaging carpet, furniture, and the walls. It most recently was occupied by a dog biscuits making company. Before that, the building was the administrative offices for the Trenton school district.
A suggestion from Administrator Urton was to use the city-owned building for storage which will be a need once the old Quonset huts are removed north of the fire station. Urton said a large overhead door would need to be installed at the airport building. The council voted 7 to zero to table any decision until it can be determined how much storage city departments, especially the street crews, need for machinery and equipment.
The council voted to proceed with an online auction to sell baking and other equipment that the dog biscuits company has left inside the building. None of it, according to Urton, was damaged by floodwater. The council felt revenue from the sale could be used to pay to modify the north end of the building for the large overhead door.
Attorney for the city, Tara Walker, told the council that whatever amounts the items sell for will need to be credited against the unpaid rent the baking company owes the city.
Two bids were received for renting the north end of the PSF hangar at the airport. The council voted 6 to 1 to accept the high bid from David Tolen flying service of Gallatin at $285 a month. The council stipulated if rent is not paid by the 10th, a 10% penalty would be added. The other bid from Steve Hammond of Trenton was $276 per month. Councilman Danny Brewer voted no in accepting Tolen’s bid.