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7/15/2014 12:01:00 PM
Financing for new hangars at Williams Airport approved

Marissa Freireich
Williams-Grand Canyon News Reporter


WILLIAMS, Ariz. - With financing for the project in place, plans are moving forward to build a new set of hangars at H.A. Clark Memorial Field.

Williams City Council members accepted a loan agreement from the Arizona Department of Transportation for the construction of 10 T-hangars at their July 10 meeting.

At the time of the council's April 25 meeting, Stantec Consulting estimated the total cost for a 10-unit hangar space would be $471,240. The company estimated the city's monthly payment per unit would be about $292 for 10 units, if the city took out a 20-year loan at a 4.25 percent interest rate.

However, since it took some time for the project to be approved, the consultant had to recalculate the estimated project cost. The new amount in the approved loan agreement is not to exceed $507,625, which the city will repay over 20 years. The interest rate and monthly payments will be determined when the city receives the loan documents, according to Finance Director Keith Buonocore. Hangar rental fees will cover the loan repayment.

"I think those hangars have all pretty much been spoken for," Mayor John Moore said at the meeting.

City Manager Brandon Buchanan said he hopes the concrete pad for the hangars can be poured during this construction season.

"And it's just a matter of how fast the metal buildings can be ordered, fabricated and delivered and installed. So ideally by the end of year we'll have them ready," he said.

In other council news, members determined the employee raise structure for fiscal year 2015. About $91,158 was set aside in this year's budget for pay raises, which was based on as much as a 3 percent raise for each employee.

The raises were initially planned to be dependent on employee evaluations. However, since the evaluation system is not finished yet, staff had to find another way to distribute the raises for this year.

In his staff report to the mayor and council, Buchanan presented three options for how to distribute the raises. The first was the 3 percent raise for each employee, which would cost about $91,158. The second was a 50-cent per hour increase for all employees, which would cost $76,648. The final option was a one-time bonus of $1,000 for each employee, which would cost $81,700.

Council members unanimously voted to approve the 50-cent per hour pay raise for all employees. After the meeting councilman Bernie Hiemenz explained why he made the motion that the council approve the 50-cent raise option.

"It brings the bottom up a little bit," he said. "I think it's more fair clear across the board."

The last time city staff received pay raises was about three or four years ago. Next year, the raises will be based on employee evaluations.

"I know we've been working on (the evaluations) a long time and I'd really like to see that get done, because this would be more of a cost of living raise to me," Councilman Lee Payne said.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Article comment by: Pat Smilth

We should all have a party to celebrate the new hangars! As long as churches aren't involved, like on the 4th of July, it should be a good time!

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Article comment by: John Thompson

What is wrong with our elected officials? Spending our hard earned tax money on an airport that nobody uses? Handing out raises producing a $75K additional annualized budget obligation during a time when private sector pay increases have been flat for years? We need to vote for different people. They're wasting our money.

Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Article comment by: Ron Pauly

I almost forgot we have an airport. After all the money spent there, do any planes actually land here? I remember something about spending all that money so commercial flights would come to Williams. Did that ever happen? All i see is the occasional plane flying too low and buzzing the town.



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