Note: The story has been corrected to state that Precision Ag solutions has not gone out of business, but has moved to 1129 North Main in Pratt.
The Pratt Regional Airport and BTI are working on a trade of sorts that will benefit both parties. Reid Bell, airport manager, presented information about the trade to the Pratt Airport Authority Board of Directors at their monthly meeting Oct. 13.
Bell said that BTI had proposed to purchase 25 acres of land where their facility is currently located.
Because the land is airport property, the Federal Aviation Administration has to approve the purchase. Bell has been in contact with an FAA compliance officer and she has indicated that it would not be a problem. A final decision has not been made but the FAA has to approve the sale or it will not happen, Bell said.
The airport is also working on purchasing the former John Deere building (Precision Ag Solutions) from BTI and have it available for any potential future customers.
When Precision Ag moved, the airport took on the loan payment debt to BTI so the airport would like to purchase the building. The purchase would help relieve some of the airport financial burden they have incurred because of budget restraints and loss of tenants at the airport, Bell said.
Now the airport and BTI are in discussions about a trade of the BTI land for the old John Deere building. A business has announced interest in the former John Deere building. Bell said if that could happen, it would relieve some of the airport budget issues.
In the meantime, the airport has petitioned the Kansas Board of Tax Appeals to not pay property tax on the former John Deere building. If the airport uses the building for equipment storage, they shouldn't have to pay property tax. That would also help alleviate some of the airport expenses.
In other activity, the airport has submitted a grant application to Kansas Department of Transportation Aviation for a new fuel system. They have also put in a grant application to FAA for design of the fuel system because KDOT won't cover the design portion of the fuel system.
The fuel system has been in place for decades and the airport is working to get it replaced before the old fuel tanks become a problem.
The contract with the current airport consultant will expire this year. The board will send out solicitations for statements of qualifications for the airport consultant position. Once those have been returned, the board will narrow the field and make their final selection for consultant.
Two representatives for Garver Consulting and Engineering, Mark Williams, Garver senior project manager and Josh Peters, Garver Airport Planner, introduced themselves to the board and gave a brief summary of their backgrounds and indicated they wanted to be considered for the consultant position.
The solicitations for statements for the consultant position will go out in November and Bell said he wanted the process complete by January or February 2017.