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Dickinson Airport asks county for funding

Press Photo by Sean M. Soehren Stark County Commissioner Russ Hoff, right, reviews documents with Chairman Ken Zander at a Stark County Commission meeting in the Stark County Courthouse on Tuesday morning in Dickinson.

Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport officials said during Stark County Commission meeting on Tuesday at the courthouse in Dickinson that they want Stark County to pitch in on a hangar project.

The airport officials were asking for $60,000. Commissioners were in support, but said they will have to see what is available on the budget.

Airport Manager Matt Remynse said the airport has more aircrafts based in Dickinson than ever before and there has been an increase in the number of transient operators that house their planes. This has limited the amount of space in the hangars.

The Airport Authority Commission is looking to ease the spatial strain by building a hangar that will be 100 feet by 120 feet for a cost of about $837,000.

Remynse said Stark County Development awarded a $150,000 grant and a $150,000 loan toward the project and the City of Dickinson is expected to commit $100,000. However, the project is still $87,000 short, he said.

Remynse said he was seeking $60,000 each from Billings, Dunn, Hettinger and Stark counties to cover the extra cost.

Billings and Dunn counties have been supportive, but are waiting to see how much money is available in their budgets, Remynse said. Hettinger County did not award funds, he said.

"A certain amount will be going to construction and a certain amount going to pay back loans so the airport can realize revenue sooner," Remynse said, adding that the airport is responsible for 5 percent of the cost.

Commissioner Russ Hoff said the growth at the airport has been noticeable.

"The airport is a huge, huge part of Stark County and the traffic around there has increased an unbelievable amount," he said. "If we have the money, I would sure support it."

Remynse said the hangar would be a part of the master plan expansion that contains about $15 million worth of projects.

Airport Authority Commissioner Thomas Reichert said the business has grown significantly in the 18 years he has served.

"We had one half-time employee running the airport," he said about when he started. Now there are four full-time employees, one part-time employee and a manager.

Commission Chairman Ken Zander said the request will be taken into account when writing the final budget.

"I think it is obvious that it is an expanding service and a vital service, not only to the oil industry, but for regular travelers and county residents," he said.