Airport commission to be discussed tonight

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— The Steamboat Springs City Council could take the final step in forming an airport commission at tonight's joint meeting with Routt County commissioners.

The council is being asked to vote on an intergovernmental agreement between Routt County and the city that would officially form the Yampa Valley Airport Commission.

The airport commission would be responsible for policy-setting decisions and long-term planning for Yampa Valley Regional Airport and Steamboat Springs Airport.

After two failed airport authorities in the last decade, the city and county decided to form a board that would be more than a recommending body but would not combine the two's assets. That decision came after more than a year of meetings focused on the development of an oversight board.

Under the proposed agreement, the commission would develop an annual budget for county and city approval and a long-term capital improvement plan.

The commission would be accountable to the council and commissioners, and would supervise the managers of both airports. The managers would remain employees of the county and city.

The commission will be given more power than the existing Yampa Valley Regional Airport Advisory Board, but not as much power as an authority.

The agreement will not allow the commission to make substantial changes to the airports' operations, to buy or sell land and other assets, borrow or lend money, hire or fire personnel, commit unbudgeted funds, or transfer funds, personnel or equipment from one airport to another except in special, short-term circumstances.

Tonight, the council will pick two members to sit on the interview committee that will appoint residents to the nine-member commission. Two county commissioners will also sit on the interview committee.

The City Council and Board of Commissioners each will appoint one member to the airport commission.

The boards will then jointly appoint a Moffat County resident nominated by the Moffat County commissioners and Craig City Council; a resident of Hayden nominated by the Hayden Town Board; a representative of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp, nominated by the company's president; a Routt County resident nominated by the interview committee; a Routt County business person nominated by the Chamber Resort Association; and two members from the aviation community nominated by the interview committee.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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