$922,000 airport project may be reduced to $67,000 through state, federal grants

Also, the airport commission is eying a hanger addition for $1.4 million.

The Detroit Lakes-Becker County Airport has several improvement projects in the works. The airport commission has applied for federal and state grants to pay for much of the project costs.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES — New airport hangers, an extended taxi lane, an improved parking area and a new fuel system are all on the docket for upcoming airport projects in Detroit Lakes.

With an overall cost of $922,000 (not including new hangers), the Detroit Lakes-Becker County Airport Commission applied for federal and state grants to help reduce the local cost to $67,000.

During the commission’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 17, Detroit Lakes City Administrator Kelcey Klemm reviewed the project. He explained the work includes demolishing the 1940s block hanger, which is in poor condition, extending the existing taxi lanes, improving the parking lot area and installing a new fuel system.

Klemm noted the airport fund had enough to pay for the project, if the grants were received.

“No request to the city or county is needed at this point to pay for the local share,” Klemm said.


Taylor Peterson, a civil engineer with Mead & Hunt, explained the demolition of the current hangers is expected to begin in June, as is the work for the parking lot and new fuel system.

The parking lot is set to be paved and the underground fuel tanks, which were installed in 1991, are to be replaced and relocated to a more accessible location.

The extended taxi lines are slated to be done in 2024, around the same time that the concrete slabs are poured for the new hangers.

Klemm explained the new T-hangers are estimated to cost between $1.2 and $1.4 million. He said the rent collected for airport hanger usage (current and anticipated charges for the new hangers) should pay for the new hanger project, in time. However, he said the airport commission will need to decide how it plans to fund the building project up front — either with commercial financing, such as a bond, or an internal loan. Klemm noted that an internal loan was provided when the Life Link building that houses the emergency helicopter service was built. Having an internal loan meant the interest earnings remain in house, he added.

The commission was informed a pre-construction meeting would be held to try to prevent construction interference with city-wide events.

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