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Building flaws found at Powell Municipal Airport’s new terminal

A chunk of concrete at the airport’s new terminal/snow removal equipment building will get the heave-ho this spring.

A downspout near the main entrance on the southwest corner of the terminal released water next to a 4-by-4 foot concrete pad, Public Works Director Gary Butts said at the Powell Airport Advisory Commission meeting Thursday morning.

Water seeped under the pad and later froze, causing the concrete to heave, Butts said. Due to the frost heave, the door would not open, so the concrete had to be ground down to allow access, he said.

Fisher Construction of Billings, the general contractor that built the terminal, will remove the old pad and replace it this spring at their cost. The downspout will be adjusted to direct future water away from the walk, Butts said.

The 3,840-square-foot terminal was completed last fall.

There are other problems popping up, the board was told. One of the city-owned hangar doors is out of whack.

“It is not clear what has happened to the T-hanger door, but the door frame has shifted or is out of place in the hangar that Steve Doerr uses,” Butts said. “It remains to be seen how this door will be repaired to function properly.” 

Doerr, the commission chairman, rents a T-hangar — a plane storage facility with a shape like that letter — at the airport. Because the door was inoperable, he moved to a vacant box hangar, but he will pay the same rent as a T-hangar.

There were no objections raised by city representatives or fellow commissioners Thursday.

“I just want to be above board with that hangar deal,” Doerr said.

It made sense to move Doerr’s plane into an empty hangar until the repairs could be made. When the door is fixed Doerr will have the option of moving back to his old hangar or, if he prefers, he can keep his airplane in the box hangar and pay the higher rental rate, Butts said.

There are eight city-owned T-hangars and five box hangars at the airport. The T-hangars rent for about $170 per month and the box hangars for $336 per month, depending on square footage. There is also a large box hangar for $760 per month, Butts said.

Pilot prizes pondered

Debbie Weckler, the city’s airport operator, said she wants to include a treasure chest for pilots at the terminal.

The purpose is to promote the airport, Weckler said.

The chest would contain a fuel coupon or another aircraft-related gift coupon with a value of $50. The chest would be in the terminal from May through September and she would draw a pilot or student pilot’s name the first of each month.

Butts suggested Weckler’s proposal be tabled until the next commission meeting. The commission meets next at 7 a.m., Thursday, April 10, at the Skyline Cafe.

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