Walz airport 7

Travis Block, Faribault public works director, and Lindsay Butler with the Federal Aviation Administration survey damage at the Faribault Airport Sept. 28. (Daily News file photo)

Faribault officials aren’t wasting any time in getting the city’s airport back up and running.

Thirty-nine buildings at the airfield were damaged during the Sept. 20 storms that included several tornadoes. The most powerful of them blew through the airport after devastating the Roberds Lake area and heading to the northeast, according to the National Weather Service.

The winds destroyed 13 buildings, including the arrival/departure building/hangar that provided pilot services, including a place to meet passengers, a flight plan area, restrooms and access to weather information. Another five buildings suffered major damage.

The City Council Tuesday approved two items that will help get the airport back on its feet. First up was a $73,500 contract with Foth to provide preliminary designs for a new hangar. The contract includes project coordination and geotechnical services.

Travis Block, the city’s Public Works director, said those costs will be reimbursed by the city’s insurance company.

The contract calls for the replacement hangar to be approximately 80 feet by X 120 feet in approximately the same location as the existing hangar. It also asks for the design to accommodate an additional 80 foot X 80 foot expansion that could be part of the initial construction or completed sometime in the future.

Preliminary designs, expected by the end of November, will be presented to the Airport Advisory Board for a recommendation. That will then come before the council for final approval.

In the meantime, the airport won’t go without a base of operations. The council also approved an 18-month lease on a temporary arrival/departure building that will be heated and cooled, have an office area, internet for weather information and restrooms connected to city water and sewer, Block said in a Tuesday memo to the council.

Foth solicited three bids and Block recommended a $29,421 bid from Modspace. Costs are about $7,000 higher than the low bid, but its restroom complies with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The cost to lease the building is also eligible for reimbursement under the city’s insurance.

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy.

©Copyright 2018 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy

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