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City to up its capital contribution for repairs to Jack Garland Airport

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City Council approved a report from staff that will see the city increase its capital contribution to the Jack Garland Airport by up to $300,000. The reason for the increase is a $370,000 funding shortfall for the Rehabilitation of the Essential Airfield Electrical Power System at the airport. The work is estimated to cost about $2.6 million in total, and is being funded with contributions from the city, federal government as well as the Airport Corporation. $890,436 is the contribution from the federal government to help complete the project. The shortfall is the result of a price tag that comes in slightly higher than anticipated by staff, and a lower than expected federal contribution.

Community Services Chairman Mark King says even though they are a regional airport, they don’t really have a choice but to provide the necessary funds in order to get the federal funds. King says he’s not happy about it, because it’s a fair bit of money. He says he wasn’t aware of the increase at the start of the week, and added he only became aware when he received his council package for the week. King says there’s an awful lot of stuff happening at city hall right now with councillors and staff constantly in and out of meetings, so sometimes it’s difficult to get this information.

King says it’s imperative that the federal government starts to take more responsibility for the airport. He says with its 10,000-foot runway it serves the region and provides options for commercial flights in cases of emergency or issues at larger airports. The upgrades to power system are part of nearly $8 million in a number of planned upgrades at the Jack Garland Airport over the next two years.

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