As budget talks heat up council tables this time of year, on Monday, Trail officials agreed to a pre-budget authorization of $265,000 for work at the Trail Regional Airport (YZZ).
“Council agreed to the go-forward plan for landscaping earlier in the year,” Coun. Kevin Jolly told the Trail Times. “The steps taken at the Governance and Operations Committee (GOC) meeting formalized our financial request as a pre-budget item,” he added.
“This allowed for the timely development of the implementation plan, so that we will be ready to go ahead with installation in early spring.”
In a city report, YZZ manager Robert Baker noted that, due to financial constraints, landscaping was delayed during the design phase of the new terminal building.
However, the airport committee approved the landscaping component last year and final design work is well underway.
“The purpose of the project is to ensure the main entrance to the airport property is prominently seen from the highway,” Baker explained, noting the scope includes parking lot areas. “And that a viewing area is provided for the public to view the aircraft with family and friends in the main apron.”
That phase of work accounts for $235,000.
“The landscape project is a continuation of the Airport Terminal Building project and funding was included in the budget for this purpose,” Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff advised council. “Due to timing constraints, the landscaping was not started in 2017 and will be completed in 2018 if the funding continues to be available as part of carrying forward the moneys to 2018.”
Landscaping is an improvement that will mark finalization of the project, he noted.
“As indicated, the city has already committed to the expense associated with the design so the project can commence early in the spring.”
The other $30,000 pre-budget apportionment will be directed into an “Airport Safety and Security” project.
Items such as securing airside access doors were not included in the original construction contract, Baker stated, adding that his request was a proactive measure.
“For example, during the first week of operation, members of the public opened the airside access doors and casually walked out onto the main apron to look around,” he clarified. “This is a serious safety and security issue, and improvements are required to the access control system … At this time the exact costs are unknown, and similarly, it is unknown what other safety and security issues may arise through the first year of operations.”
Later in the GOC, council reviewed the city’s current budget for 2018 airport operations.
According to early budget numbers, YZZ expenses are projected at $479,000 compared to revenues of $358,500. That leaves an estimated net budget increase of $28,150.
“In consideration of the overall increase in the property tax levy, which is currently sitting at $822,850, the impact of the airport increase is very small,” Perehudoff confirmed to the Times.