Commission seeks help for airport U.S. fund cut poses threat to expansion

June 22, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Carroll County's board of commissioners asked for a little federal political pull yesterday to prevent a proposed cut that could affect the county's airport expansion project.

County officials sent letters to Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-6th, and Democratic Senators Paul S. Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski, asking them to push the House Committee on Transportation into reinstating a proposed $3 million cut to the Airport Improvement Program for fiscal year 1994.

Fiscal year 1994 begins in October for the federal government.

The Airport Improvement Program is expected to pay 90 percent of the $17 million necessary to expand the Carroll County Regional Airport. Carroll County already has received $8.9 million from the federal government, but county officials fear that budget cuts would squelch the rest of the project.

"We'd prefer not to see them do that," General Services Director J. Michael Evans said of the proposed budget cut.

A spokeswoman for the House committee said the appropriations bill should be considered by the full committee at 1 p.m. today. The bill includes funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, which administers the Airport Improvement Program.

The next three phases of the project include relocating Meadow Branch Road, lengthening the current 3,200-foot runway, and expanding ground support facilities and public and private hangars.

The county already has $2 million for the first phase of the project, Mr. Evans said.

County officials are counting on about $3 million for Phase Two, he


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All three phases, which are interconnected, should take between 18 months to two years to complete.

"The next [second] phase of the project has been tentatively recognized by the FAA," Mr. Evans said. "We need something firmer than recognition.

Mr. Evans said that not having the money in place before seeking bids could affect prices for the completed project.

"If a contractor thinks there is going to be a delay between Phase One and Phase Two, he might load Phase One with unknowns to get him through until Phase Two and in case Phase Three never comes about," he said.

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