Eagle County runway expansion on schedule | VailDaily.com

Eagle County runway expansion on schedule

The issue: Progress on the runway expansion at the Eagle County Regional Airport.

What they talked about: Project supervisor Rick Ullom told the commissioners the project is now on schedule and on budget. But, Ullom said, he’s working to find a final $1.8 million in federal funding, and might need an immediate $25,000 in local matching funds to land the federal money. That local money is available in airport accounts, Ullom said.

What’s next? Ullom said the project is expected to be finished by Sept. 1, and American Airlines is bringing in its first flight from Dallas Sept. 2.

The issue: Cost savings on the county jail expansion.

What they talked about: Project supervisor Rick Ullom told the commissioners that the project is under budget and on time. He also said he and county finance director John Lewis had been able to find $736,000 in savings that the county can use for basically any purpose.

There’s a laundry list of possible uses for the money, from a new roof for the entire building to a new, high-tech surveillance system for the jail. The money could also be used to pay down some of the debt on the jail expansion.

What happened: The commissioners didn’t make any decisions on using the money Monday. Commissioner Sara Fisher urged her colleagues to wait a couple of months, look over sales tax collections, then make a decision.

“If this slump continues, we’re going to need every penny,” Fisher said.

The issue: A new trash compactor at the Eagle County Landfill.

What they talked about: The compactor that’s out there now – a giant, diesel-powered piece of equipment – is nearing the end of its service life. A new compactor could be as much as $780,000.

What happened? Rasnic told the commissioners that a Caterpillar equipment company in Grand Junction has offered to rebuild the old compactor from the ground up and provide a rental unit until the rebuild is done for just more than $250,000. The rebuilt unit comes with a three-year warranty.

The commissioners enthusiastically backed the idea.

Sort-of fun fact: Getting the compactor to Grand Junction and back will be a long, slow, trip. It will have to be trucked to Steamboat Springs, then Craig and down through Meeker to Rifle because it’s too big to fit through the Hanging Lake Tunnels in Glenwood Canyon.

The issue: The latest report on property valuations appeals.

What they did: Commissioners Peter Runyon and Sara Fisher voted to approve the latest appeals report (Commissioner Jon Stavney was absent). The latest report, about activity for the previous week, showed the county’s five hearing officers had held 283 hearings. Of those, the officers recommended 140 value changes, denied another 106, and approved 36 with conditions.

What’s next? The appeals process continues until roughly mid-August.

– Scott N. Miller

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