County says 'yes' to airport rental-car fees

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Routt County commissioners approved a $4-a-day charge on rental cars at Yampa Valley Regional Airport to raise money for improvement projects at the airport.

On Tuesday, the Board of Routt County Commissioners approved a customer-facility charge at Yampa Valley Regional Airport. It will join a small number of airports in Colorado that use the charge.

Revenue from the $4 charge must be used for capital projects that benefit rental car customers, Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said.

Before approving the fees, Monger said he thought the county should look more closely at partnering with the rental car companies at the airport, Avis and Hertz, to see how they want to spend the money.

The fee, which will be $4 for every day a rental car is rented at YVRA, is expected to raise about $176,000 a year.

Commissioner Dan Ellison said improving the rental car facilities at the airport was a very appropriate use of the money.

"This would help us do a better job of serving those users of the airport," Ellison said.

One of the top priorities for the money could 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 future projects would 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 airport terminal improvement project, which includes relocating the rental car companies' customer service counter inside the airport.

The commissioners could con--sider 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. The project for the washing facility, which could include office space, is about two years away.

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