Council grudgingly rescinds fed grant
Grand Junction city councilors weren’t happy about rescinding a federal grant that would pay for most of the construction on a new building at the Grand Junction Regional Airport, but on Wednesday night, they voted to do so anyway.
Five members of the seven-member board voted to allow the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority Board to rescind the grant. Councilors Duncan McArthur and Bennett Boeschenstein voted against the idea, saying more time was needed to consider the change.
Mesa County Commissioners and members of the Airport Authority already have voted to rescind the grant.
Steve Wood, chairman of the Airport Authority board, explained that the grant submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration by former director of aviation Rex Tippetts contained misleading information on the building’s planned use.
Wood said a vote by city councilors not to rescind the grant may appear to prosecutors and the FAA that “we’re not ready to be clean yet.”
The Airport Authority had been advised by email and in a phone call from the FAA to rescind the grant, Wood said.
He added that the FAA requested that the Airport Authority get closer to a May deadline to resubmit a grant application that more accurately reflects the intended use of the building.
Under Tippetts’ leadership, it had been characterized as a terminal building, but to the public, it was labeled as an administration building, Wood said.
It would cost $4.2 million to finish the contract with Shaw Construction, and up to an additional $1.5 million will be needed to finish the building, Wood said.
The Airport Authority voted at its meeting Tuesday night to pay Shaw Construction some of the costs it is owed to date, but to halt construction until further notice.
Mayor Sam Susuras requested that the Airport Authority consider keeping a firefighting station in the building’s new plan, because the city of Grand Junction is short on fire prevention in the north part of the city.
Also, city councilors voted unanimously to appoint David Murray to the Airport Authority board for a term ending May 2015. Murray replaces David Hibberd, who resigned.
In other news councilors approved:
■ Authorized the city to apply for a maximum of a $180,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for the final design and phasing options for an amphitheater for Las Colonias Park.
The grant requires a cash match of $60,000, and the Grand Junction Lions Club has offered to pay $10,000 of that cost. Councilors Phyllis Norris and Marty Chazen voted against the measure.
Entering into a contract with CAM Electric for $54,550 for a replacement motor control center for Persigo Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Entering into a contract for $124,000 with CEM Sales and Service to provide and install a new pool filtration system at Lincoln Park Moyer Pool.
Purchase four, all-wheel-drive police special services vehicles from Spradley Barr Ford of Greeley for $155,288. The new vehicles will replace police sedans.
Entering into a contract for $70,000 with Colorado West Contracting, Inc. for 13 dump trucks for two weeks to assist in the city’s annual Spring Clean Up program.