City to rebuild airport terminal

Published 9:02 pm Thursday, October 11, 2012

The N.C. Department of Transportation will provide $500,000 toward the new terminal at Warren Field. The balance of the funding will come from two $150,000 grants and a $274,700 partial insurance settlement. (WDN File Photo/Sara Cowell)

Washington will rebuild the terminal building at the city-owned Warren Field Airport, with the project cost estimated at a little more than $1 million.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will provide $500,000 toward construction of the project. The $1,074,000 projected cost of the project includes $700,000 in construction costs, $150,000 for building design, $100,000 in building administration/inspection costs, $27,000 for a temporary terminal building (modular) and $97,700 in contingency funds, according to a document related to the project.
In addition to the $500,000 in state aid to airports from DOT’s aviation division, other funding sources for the project include two $150,000 grants and $274,700 from a partial insurance payout. The two Vision 100 grants, one for fiscal year 2012 and the other for fiscal year 2013, are grants the city receives on an annual basis to use for airport improvements.
The document notes that the remaining insurance payout totals $51,300.
Councilman Doug Mercer said he thought it could be better for the city to replace the terminal building by using insurance payout funds instead of using the state-provided funds. Those monies could be better used for other improvements at the airport, he said.
City Manager Josh Kay, responding to a question from Mercer, said the insurance coverage the city had on the former terminal building would pay for the total replacement cost of that building, which was destroyed during a severe storm July 1.
“Why don’t we allow the insurance company to replace the building as it was, in total, at no cost to us? We don’t need to use any of our Vision (100) grant monies or anything else,” Mercer said.
“You still have other costs that are out there — the furnishings and those type things. I’m not sure the insurance would cover that, and I realize that’s a small portion (of replacement costs). What we are trying to do, as you can see in the budget, is to actually expand the size to be able to offer some additional opportunities, some community uses and emergency-operations center out at that facility,” Kay said.
Kay said the insurance company has not yet provided an estimate to replace the destroyed terminal building with one similar to it.
Mercer said he believes an insurance payout could be used to pay for a new terminal building that would be similar to the one destroyed, with the new terminal building designed in a way that would allow for easy expansion of it — if and when expansion is needed in the future.
“I don’t know that we’ve had any discussions about what we want to do. We keep saying, ‘Oh, well, we just need to expand the building to give us more opportunities.’ I’d like to have a little discussion about the opportunities we’re going to present out there and if they’re really worth a half a million dollars.”
After discussing the issue, the council authorized the city manager to sign an agreement between the city and DOT concerning replacement of the terminal building.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

email author More by Mike