Airport capital improvements planned
A series of improvements for the Woltermann Memorial Airport in Columbus have been identified as part of the 2015 - 2021 Capital Improvement Plan.
The new plan has been approved by both the Columbus Town Council and the Stillwater County Commissioners, with both entities doing so at recent meetings.
The improvement plan identifies the following projects over the next several years:
•2015: Rehabilitate runway/taxiway/apron – Phase 1 (Design)
•2016: Rehabilitate runway/taxiway/apron – Phase 2 (Construction)
•2017: No projects planned
•2018: Acquire land for development
•2019: No projects planned
•2020: Pavement maintenance
•2021: No projects planned
Columbus Mayor Gary Wolterman said airport runways normally last about 15 years. The runway at the Columbus airport is about 20-years-old and has cracks in the surface.
Commissioner Chairman Dell said the plan needs to be updated annually according to regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration and Montana Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division.
The commissioners also discussed funding for airport planning. They approved both a grant and a loan to fund completion of an airport master plan and update the airport layout plan. The grant and loan are each in the amount of $6,325 and are provided by Montana Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division. The loan is offered at an interest rate of 1.625 percent.
Commissioner Maureen Davey said maintenance is an ongoing process at the airport. In order to obtain federal funding for airport projects the county has to do a lot of paperwork.
Davey said the county does the majority of that paperwork. Even with the assistance of engineers there is a lot of back and forth between the county and the engineer, she said.