Bid for airport terminal approved

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The Routt County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday awarded a $5.5 million airport terminal construction project to TCD, the lowest bidder.

The county commissioners approved the contract for the terminal project at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, amended a contract with Connell Resources for a runway and roadwork project, and signed Federal Aviation Administration grant agreements to help fund those projects.

On Thursday, the Yampa Valley Airport Commission recommended the county commissioners pick TCD for the terminal project. The company's $5.5 million bid was $500,000 less than the architect's estimate.

The project will expand the passenger waiting area and allow concessions to be moved into the airport terminal's main level. It is expected to begin next summer and be finished before the 2006-07 ski season.

Another contractor, FCI Constructors of Longmont, submitted a bid of more than $6.8 million.

Also Tuesday, commissioners amended the contract with Connell Resources, which is doing the other half of the Phase 2 expansion of the airport.

Two weeks ago, the commissioners approved an $8,114,000 contract with Connell Resources to expand a parking ramp for large commercial jets, improve parking facilities and build a new terminal access road. The contract was $640,000 more than what the architects had estimated for the project. The county and Connell Resources worked to shave about $1.25 million from the original bid of $9.4 million.

The FAA had to approve the cost-saving changes. On Tuesday, YVRA Manager Jim Parker said it did not approve the change in oil for part of the project, increasing the cost by $6,000. The commissioners approved the contract for $8,121,000.

Parker also said the county is continuing to look for state grants to help fund the gap between the estimated cost and the contractor's bid.

Tony Connell of Connell Resources said Tuesday that work on the runway, parking lot and road improvements would begin in early August, after the paperwork for the grants is completed. He expects the job to be finished by next fall.

Commissioners approved more than $10 million in grant funding Tuesday to help fund the airport improvement projects.

Of the FAA grant money, $5.4 million is from a discretionary fund and is earmarked specifically for the ramp, road and parking lot. The county also is receiving $5.1 million in entitlement money, funds that the airport receives every year from the FAA.

The county has dedicated its entitlement money from 2004 to 2008 to the project. The county has received about half of the money and estimated it will receive $1.3 million annually until 2008. Under law, Parker said the airport is guaranteed at least $1 million a year.

The county will use certificates of participations to fund the airport improvement project and pay down the debt with the FAA funds it receives each year.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229 or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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