County OKs loan to extend airport utilities | RecordCourier.com

County OKs loan to extend airport utilities

County commissioners approved lending $400,000 to the Minden-Tahoe Airport to extend utilities to the east side.

The project has long been envisioned as a way to establish the east side for glider operations.

"We need it, especially for the gliders to be operational on the east side of the airport, to eliminate the very poor idea of pulling gliders across both runways and the danger that represents" Thompson said. "We're very fortunate that has not caused any serious accidents or incidents recently. However, it is something we have to watch on an ongoing basis."

Penzel said bringing utilities to the east side of the airport was a big issue when he started working at airport in 1994.

"I congratulate you," he said. "This has confounded airport managers who have preceded you, I think the county will find it's an economic growth potential.

Work to install the utilities will be $1.39 million.

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The contract was awarded to Minden firm Herback General Engineering.

Thompson said the loan would be repaid next year.

The loan won't affect any other projects, according to Chief Financial Officer Vicki Moore.

The project will be paid by airport revenue bonds the county approved in 2014.

In addition to providing a new home for gliders, an airport museum has been proposed for the east side.

Thompson said she has three leases that will fill the area left available on the west side of the airport.

"I will have three more leases coming to this board over the next few months that will finally absorb every little inch of land we have developable on the west side," she said. "Being able to build on the east side becomes critically important."

Of the 300,000 square feet of space, she said 200,000 square feet will be taken up by a commercial business and 100,000 for glider hangar space.