Future plans laid out for Airport improvements

42_dirt_1793MOVING DIRT  — This is one of two scrappers moving dirt at a grain building elevator project off Pendroy Road just south of Conrad. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler




Commissioners discussed improvement plans for the Conrad airport at their regular Wednesday business meeting.

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has requested an updated capital improvement plan for the airport.

Projects undertaken for the capital improvement plan are funded by federal funding and county matching funds.

Looking down the road, after some discussion, it was moved to approve a capital improvement plan that looks like this:

For 2013, add a credit card fuel system, $50,000; 2014, rehabilitate the runway, taxiway and apron, $42,150.

There are no projects planned for 2015-16 but in 2017 a wildlife perimeter fence is planned at a cost of approximately $283,000.

The approved plan was passed by commissioners on a 3-0 vote.

Allan Underdahl, commissioner from Toole County and Deb Brandon, Coordinator of the Northern Transit Interlocal, Glacier County Transit and Toole County Transit systems under the Golden Triangle Transit systems were on hand to visit with commissioners and invite the county to participate.

She outlined the services of the transit system that currently has a Shelby to Kalispell service, Browning to Great Falls, Shelby to the Canadian border and a Shelby to Great Falls run.

Shelby serves as the dispatch center and main departure and arrival site with stops in Conrad on Monday and Thursday.

Stops are made at medical facilities in both locations and transportation hubs in Great Falls.

If the county comes on board, Brandon will write a grant to help with funding.

Currently, the Pondera County Council on Aging runs a surrey program which would continue, even if the county were to participate in the Golden Triangle Transit system.

Pondera County would need to purchase a bus through the Montana Department of Transportation grant program, to use for the transit system program supplementing the surrey system.

Costs and services were reviewed and discussed. It would cost the county about $12,000.

No action was taken on this. Instead, the commissioners decided to hold two public meeting to establish a transportation coordination plan for the county, routes and scheduling.

The public meeting will be on Feb. 17 at 12:30 p.m. in the Pondera Center at 311 S. Virginia and at 4 p.m. in the Valier Civic Center.

Inspector Kyle Harlan was present in regards to a response from the State of Montana concerning his contract with Pondera County for commercial building inspection services.

Discussion centered on Harlan’s lack of certification in plumbing and electrical inspections.

He informed the commissioners he will be testing for the certifications in the near future.

In addition, the county was informed they need to name five people and their qualifications to sit on the Board of Appeals under the terms of the contract.

The commissioners will name the members in the near future. The commissioners and Harlan are drafting a letter addressing the state’s concerns.