The Saratoga Sun -

Tallying taxilane treatment


At a July 14 meeting of the Saratoga Airport Board, Dave Shultz of Sage Engineering said that a taxilane rehabilitation project that contractors had been working on since spring passed final inspection and is effectively complete. Now all that’s left to figure out is who owes what.

As reported at a June 19 Saratoga Town Council Meeting, the total price tag for the project was around $660,500, but 90 percent of that cost was assumed by the federal government and an additional 6 percent was covered by the State. The remaining 4 percent was paid for by the town.

Several factors lead to a higher than anticipated total price tag, however. Shultz said these included soft subgrade soil, inclement weather and higher than expected dumping fees to get rid of debris.

Shultz said the contractors hired to do the job, Mountain Construction, finished 10 days over their allotted number of working days. Originally, Mountain Construction estimated the work would take 20 working days. Some of this delay was attributed to poor weather and soft subgrade soil, but the contractors also lost some opportunities because of time spent on other projects, Airport Board Member Richard Raymer said.

Shultz told the board that the contract stipulates that the construction firm can be assessed $1,500 in liquidated damages for each working day past the original allotment. Once Sage Engineering has prepared a full summary of the project, the engineering firm, the contractors, funding agencies and town officials can all sit down to discuss who will pay for the unforeseen expenditures.

Landfill fees totaling about $14,000 were also incurred during the construction project, raising several eyebrows on the board. The initial contract stated material would be disposed of at a nearby location. When this location proved unworkable, the contractors had to make a longer trip to the dump, increasing the amount of time spent dealing with the refuse and increasing the cost of disposal. Mountain Construction will be liable for a portion of these bills, though it was unclear what percentage they will cover and what percentage will be covered by the town.

There are still some details left to be hammered out, but inspectors liked what they saw while walking the tarmac Thursday morning. Jeremiah Woodard of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Brian Olsen of the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) were given a tour by Shultz and Brek Ibach of Sage Engineering and Kent Smith, the Saratoga zoning officer.

At that tour, Olsen said there may be grant funding available to pay for apron lighting improvements and security cameras that the town wants to install at the airfield. The board agreed these funding options should be investigated moving forward.

The board also elected a new slate of officers for fiscal year 2017 at the meeting. Board member Jennifer Johnson replaced Lance Grubb as board chair. Grubb was chosen as vice chair of the board, and Arlen Hughes was selected to be treasurer.

The next meeting of the airport board will be held 5 p.m. August 11 at the Saratoga Town Hall.


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