Terminal work progressing

ALPENA — The Alpena County Airport Committee on Thursday received an update on the progress of construction of a new terminal at Alpena County Regional Airport.

According to consultant RS&H, after a brief delay while contracts were hammered out, the project is moving along at a good pace and the new facility should be completed in November 2019.

During a teleconference on Thursday, RS&H architect and project leader Ryan Hall said the old hangar on the property where the new terminal is to be built has been torn down and underground utility and infrastructure work is ongoing. Work on the foundation will begin soon which should be completed before the end of December. He said there has also been some parking lot work done, which was slated to be done in a later phase of the project but was bumped up.

Hall said contractors intend to work through the winter if at all possible.

“I’m pleased with the progress so far and everything has been going pretty smooth,” Hall said. “It’s never easy to ask a contractor to work during the winter, but I think they have a pretty good plan in place.”

The new terminal was made possible because of a $9 million Federal Aviation Administration grant, which will cover about 90 percent of the cost of the new building. The Michigan Department of Transportation will pay $235,650 and Alpena County’s match is $2.4 million.

The airport could also enter a lease with a new car rental company. Susie Soldinski, owner of Crossroads Auto Plaza and Rental has rented cars in Alpena for years and wants to begin renting cars to travelers at the airport beginning later this month.

She is in the process of trying to become an agent for Hertz Rent-a-Car. She would replace the current leasee, whose lease was terminated earlier this year. The current leaseholder violated terms of the lease agreement, officials said.

“I’m independent right now, but I’m trying to get a franchise going and working on that and hope to have that in place in time for summer,” Soldinski told the committee. “I have a fleet of 10 to 12 vehicles currently and have an option to expand if needed.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached at 989-358-5689 at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ss_alpeanews.com.

In other business

The Alpena County Airport Committee also:

∫ received news that the airport has exceeded 10,000 enplanements this year. That ensures the airport will receive a $1 million subsidy from Federal Aviation Administration.

∫ heard from Airport Manager Steve Smigelski on some of the capital improvement projects slated for the next several years.

∫ heard from Smigelski that he was interviewed by Business View magazine about the new terminal project and other aspects about Alpena. A publish date for the article has yet to be announced.