Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

County asks for airport tax

Work required on runway, maintenance needed


August 22, 2014

Eric Seidle

Cape Air's 7 p.m flight arrives at the Havre airport Tuesday. The Hill County Commission is asking voters to approve a tax increase to pay for its $300,000 share of Federal Aviation Administration-mandated runway improvements, as well as repairs and maintenance at the airport.

The Hill County Commission is sending a request to voters in November for a tax to pay for work at the Havre City-County Airport.

Commissioner Jeff LaVoi, who sits on the airport board, said the tax would pay for Federal Aviation Administration-mandated work on the runway and for repairs and maintenance.

If the runway work is not done, it could affect federal funding and having a commercial airline fly to and from the airport, now provided by the Essential Air Service-subsidized Cape Air flights.

"FAA told us that we had to redo the main runway, so we really don't have a choice," LaVoi said.

The proposal on the ballot is for a 2-mill levy for 10 years, which would cost a homeowner with a $100,000 property $2.62 a year and $5.25 on a home valued at $200,000.

The runway project will cost $3.01 million, with the FAA paying for $2.709 million of that and the mill levy providing the required $301,000 local match.

LaVoi said the levy also will provide funds for some needed work at the airport, including some major work on the old hangar, which he said he believes was built in the early 1930s.

He added that the levy would not provide enough funds to pay for all of the work needed at the airport, "But it certainly would help us get going, anyway."


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