The Crookston Airport Commission me inside the Crookston City Hall Conference Room on Thursday morning.
SEH T-Hanger Discussion
The board first approved their meeting report from their last meeting on September 15, 2022. They had invited Short Elliot Hendrickson (SEH) representative Lindsay Reidt, who presented the design plans for a new SEH T-Hanger. SEH planned to expand the width of the runway and was planning to add a six-unit hangar with multiple doors. They would need to add a sprinkler system to the building, as it would be larger than 12,000 square feet, but add a lot to the cost. The board also believed the doors wouldn’t properly allow large planes to enter the hangar at its current size as it would push the planes’ tails into the hangars to other airplanes and the walls, not leaving them much space to maneuver inside the hangar.
“Today, we came up with a proposal to do a six-unit T-Hangar with some 65-foot doors, a 60-foot door, and a 45-foot door. The board was in consensus to continue with that, but the partitions on the inside of the hangar, on the east end. That would be removed, so the last two units on the end would essentially be open in between. Most of the other ones, they’ll have walls on the backside of them that go up to the ceiling to separate each unit so each door would go into its own unit,” said Reidt. “The two on the end would be a pass-through where you can see through the building. We’re going to go back to the design team and make sure we can accomplish the suggested design from a structural perspective and move forward to complete the design and start bidding in the next couple of months.”
Based on similar projects they had completed, the city predicted that the hangar’s construction would cost about $2 million. However, with various shares from the state from the federal government, the city would have to cover about $130 to $150,000 of the $2 million cost.
“If those bids come in as we expect in about the $2 million range, the City’s share would be $130,000-150,000,” Commission Chairperson Charles “Corky” Reynolds explained, “and with various funding sources including CIP money and some money from reserves, the city will be able to cover its share.”
After much discussion, Reidt stated that bids would need to be started by May 5 to reach their construction deadline, and they would bring it before the City Council on March 27. The commission approved the motions unanimously. The plan for the T-Hangar can be seen below-
SEH AWOS Discussion
Reidt continued with a discussion about three potential locations for an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) project that was owned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).
“MnDOT had approached the city with this project. They own the equipment and would like to replace it. It’s old enough that it’s not fixable if something breaks or doesn’t work anymore. To do these projects, they do them in a multi-phase process, so the first phase would be site design and environment. So we will put together a scope, submit that to the city, and they would submit it to MnDOT to get a grant to cover 70% of that cost,” Reidt explained. “Then, the next step would be to design, so we would work with the city to design the site once it’s selected to add foundations for the new equipment and get power to them. Then the final phase would be construction. We have involvement in the construction, and then we’d have a contractor that would be here to complete the foundation and site work for that project. Each phase would be funded 70% by MnDOT and then 30% responsibility from the city.”
Reidt predicted that the designing phase would be completed, and they would begin construction by the end of 2024. A map of the layout for the AWOS can be seen below-
Hangar Lease Agreements
The commission began discussing the lease agreements for multiple hangars the city leased to pilots. Airport Manager Lowell Miller and Chairperson Reynolds had met with several renters about why there was a one-month 8.5% discount for hangars that pilots paid for in advance as the demand exceeded their supply. Several commission members shared that they believed the discounts made things easier for the city accounting and encouraged pilots to retain their hangars. After some discussion, the commission noted that it was a city issue, and the city would have to decide if they would continue or discontinue the discounts in the future.
Agricultural Farmland Lease
Dan Geist shared that last year, thanks to the dry and windy conditions, a windstorm had blown many pieces of the dust, grass, and dirt from the city lands around the airport into the southeast quarter of the airport hangars and runways, which caused a variety of problems for the pilots and planes. To prevent this, the commission discussed ways they could add or make some additional limitations to preparing the farmland to prevent it from happening again. Reynolds noted that it would be an item for discussion for the lease owners at the end of its term at the end of 2024 to see if there were ways they could prevent it.