Board OKs costs of land-use plan, runway extension

Last year, the Santa Barbara County Associations of Governments received a $90,000 state grant to update the county’s Airport Land Use Plan.

The problem is the project will cost $120,000 and the association is asking the airports to cover the additional cost.

The Santa Maria Public Airport Board of Directors on Thursday approved of contributing $5,300 to cover its portion of the plan. The amount was determined by a cost-sharing allocation based on total aircraft operations and passengers.

The Santa Maria Airport had 23 percent of the county’s total aircraft operations and 12 percent of its passenger traffic.

The Santa Barbara Airport is footing the majority of the bill for the plan update — $20,000. It had 49 percent of the county’s aircraft operations and carries approximately 755,700 passengers annually, or 86 percent of the county total.

Santa Ynez Airport has been asked to contribute $2,400 and Lompoc $2,100 to the cost of the plan.

“Every county has an airport land-use commission. In Santa Barbara County, it happens to be set up through the Council of Governments,” said Santa Maria Airport General Manager Chris Hastert. “It is different, but this report doesn’t get updated very often and this report is very old. It really does help protect the airport, so it’s in our best interests to have an updated document.”

The current document was last updated in 1993.

The Board of Directors also approved a trio of change orders in the runway extension contracts, including one that will reduce the final cost of the project by nearly $200,000.

Two of the orders increased the Granite Construction contract by $175,976.39, but another order added late to the agenda reduced the cost of the contract by $196,330.51. The reductions reflected decreases and a few increases in the amount of work and supplies needed in the project, Hastert said.

The overall project has had $89,379.38 in change orders.

“Eighty-nine thousand dollars for a $3.5 million project — that’s actually a very small amount, especially with the rain we had this winter,” he said. “There were a lot of over-wet conditions in the soil. When you’re doing paving work, it doesn’t work very well.

Posted in Local on Saturday, June 18, 2011