Routt County is looking to impose a $4 a day fee on rental cars at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport to help cover costs of airport upgrades.
Today, the Board of Routt County Commissioners will discuss a customer facility charge that would impose $4 for each day a rental car is rented at YVRA.
County Manager Tom Sullivan said state law allows such a charge and would not need voter approval. It could be put in place as early as September and stay in place indefinitely.
Only a few airports across the state use the charge, Sullivan said. He noted that, by law, the customer-facility charge could be applied to other airport services such as taxis. The money generated from the fee must be used to improve the service that customers are using.
"Commissioners would have to use (the money) for capital projects to improve facilities for users of rental cars," Sullivan said.
Sullivan estimated the fee applied to rental cars would generate about $176,000 a year. The two rental car companies at the airport -- Avis and Hertz -- came to the county with the idea of a customer-facility charge, Sullivan said.
"This is when we need to have the charge, in order to help pay for overall improvements," Sullivan said.
One of the top priorities for the money will be the $420,000 cost of improving the rental car parking and staging area. Plans are to move the rental car parking area slightly west of where it sits in front of the terminal building. The project includes bringing in dirt fill, adding traffic control and paving the parking area.
Other long-term plans would be to use the money to help the rental car companies move their fueling station to the west side of the airport and past the administrative offices. The relocation of the fueling station and improving the road to it would cost about $200,000. The funds also could be spent on Phase 3 of the terminal improvement project, which includes relocating the rental car companies' customer service counter inside the airport.
The commissioners could consider using the money to issue debt to cover the cost of a $1.2 million washing facility for the rental cars. The debt would be paid off with the annual payments of the customer-facility charge. Sullivan said the project for the washing facility, which could include office space, is about two years away.
In the next two years, major improvements are planned for the airport. The county is expected to do $5.5 million worth of improvements to the terminal building, including the expansion of the passenger waiting area and moving concessions into the airport terminal's main level.
This summer, the county is beginning to work on an $8.1 million project on groundwork at the airport. The project will improve runway ramps, roads and parking.
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