Members of Trail council with Minister Todd Stone in June 2016

Members of Trail council with Minister Todd Stone in June 2016

Trail awards $2.2 million airport contract

Hil-Tech Contracting Ltd. has been awarded a $2.2 million contract for new construction at the Trail Regional Airport.

Hil-Tech Contracting Ltd. has been awarded a $2.2 million contract for new construction at the Trail Regional Airport.

The Airport Terminal Building project includes installation of the prefabricated building and interior fittings, development of the surrounding lands, and associated utility hook ups. The job is expected to begin by the end of April and wind up within 22 weeks from the start date.

Hil-Tech’s work is well known to the city and the company put forth the lowest of two bids.

“Hil-Tech is a company that does a lot of work in and around the Greater Trail area and employs local residents on their jobs,” says Coun. Kevin Jolly, chair of the airport committee. “The city has worked with Hil-Tech on many projects over the years and they have a proven track record of performing quality work.”

On behalf of Trail council, Jolly clarified the city’s policy regarding the awarding of municipal contracts.

“The city does have a policy that allows variances up to 5 per cent for local purchasing on items up to $100,000,” he explained. “For bids up to $500,000 the tolerance is 2.5 per cent, and for amounts exceeding $500,000, there is no variance for local bidders,” he added. “In the end, only two bids were received before the deadline and Hil-Tech was the lowest bidder.”

The city purchased the airstrip for $1.28 million from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary back in 2014. Since then, Trail has invested in major improvements including a $13,000 study with JetPro Consultants which enabled lower ceilings for the north and south approaches, and now, the new terminal building.

The pre-engineered structure was purchased for $390,000 last fall, and the earthworks contract was put to tender earlier this year. The budget for the new facility is $3 million and was made possible in 2016 after the province kicked in a $1.2 million grant through the BC Air Access Program.

Airport development is part of Trail council’s ongoing strategy to breathe new life into the city while providing a flight service to the region.

“We see the re-development of Trail Regional Airport (YZZ) as a key building block in the city’s overall revitalization efforts and economic driver for our region,” said Jolly. “Since inception, YZZ has served to provide reliable air access into the West Kootenay at an affordable price. The addition of a new terminal building at YZZ will allow the travelling public to continue reaping those benefits in a modernized and more comfortable space.”

Also on the radar in 2017, is the city’s application for a $4 million federal ACAP (Airport Capital Assistance Program) grant to repave the runway.