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Board gives nod to airport project

JOHNSTOWN — A proposed $1.25 million Fulton County Airport capital project to fix the facility’s deteriorating main apron in 2021 was green-lighted Monday by a Board of Supervisors’ committee.

The Public Works Committee voted to approve reconstruction of the apron as part of the sole capital project for 2021 proposed by county Director Scott Henze.

The action moves the proposal to the board’s Capital Projects Committee, which will develop a final overall county capital plan to be considered during budget season in the fall. Federal cost toward the apron project will be $1.125 million, while the state and Fulton County will each kick in $62,500 contributions.

“We are right now finalizing design of that project,” Henze told the committee.

The planned 2021 project generally includes full-depth reconstruction of the existing main apron at the Fulton County Airport off Route 67. Henze said the 29-year-old apron has approximately 120,000 square feet of surface.

Henze said the apron is now in “very poor” shape and “really needs a whole reconstruction.”

He said the airport surface has exceeded its useful life and is developing into somewhat of a “physical liability” at the airport/ He said the apron’s construction will continue to worsen if reconstruction doesn’t take place. Eventually, he said it will impact fuel sales at the airport since private airplane owners will avoid the Fulton County Airport if the apron poses a potential liability to their aircraft. Likewise, he said the airport may begin to lose airplanes currently kept in hangars or occupying tie down space at the facility.

Henze said the project will involve milling the top three inches of blacktop and taking out 12 inches of subgrade underneath it.

In the capital project request form, Henze indicated the Fulton County Planning Department considered a “do nothing” alternative discussed with airport consultants Passero Associates regarding the option. The consultant indicated it has been in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration district office, and it was determined the apron problems should be resolved “as soon as possible.”

Fulton County was encouraged to include the project in its formal Airport Capital Improvement Plan, Henze said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.6

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