Friday, August 6, 2010

Airport board OKs $7.5 million budget

Payroll raise approved

Express Staff Writer

The Friedman Memorial Airport Authority approved Tuesday a $7.5 million budget for airport operations in fiscal year 2011.

If all proposed expenses occur, the budget would result in a deficit of $656,385.

However, airport Manager Rick Baird told the governing board that some spending would not occur and the Federal Aviation Administration—under the Airport Improvement Program—would reimburse other expenses.

After a strong appeal to the board in which he cited the airport staff work load, Baird was given approval to include a 2.7% payroll raise in the budget totaling $20,391 for the airport staff of 12. Baird said some raises would be less than 2.7 percent. Some on the staff might not receive pay hikes, he said.


In addition to the Friedman expenses, the airport also is spending some funds connected with a replacement airport. Planning for a new airport has picked up momentum with the additions of a financial consultant developing strategies for funding a new facility and a construction project manager.

As Baird pointed out, the airport's revenues do not include any public property taxes, only airport user fees and FAA funds.

In other airport authority business:

( Longtime airport engineering consultant Chuck Sundby, of Boise-based T-O Engineers, has announced he's resigned from the company's board of directors and gone on part-time consulting status. Sundby has been the airport's engineering adviser for 15 years.

( Two persons, whose names have not been disclosed, have applied as possible appointees to the at-large seat on the Friedman governing board. They will be interviewed to determine their qualifications. Dr. Ron Fairfax, who has said he would like to be reappointed for another term, now holds the seat.

( The authority postponed member Larry Schoen's request to discuss the mechanics of transferring sponsorship of a replacement airport from Blaine County and the city of Hailey to the county as the sole "sponsor," as required by the FAA. FMAA Chair Tom Bowman suggested Hailey and county officials prepare outlines prior to any discussions.

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