North Adams Receives $200K Gift For Airport
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city will receive a $200,000 gift to fund its share of the construction of a new administration building on the airport.
Mayor Richard Alcombright told the Airport Commission on Tuesday that real estate developer and Turboprop East director Harry S. Patten Jr. has agreed to fund the city's 5 percent share of the nearly $4 million project.
"There are a lot exciting times in the city lately, and we have had a lot of good announcements and none probably as good as this one," Alcombright said. "This is a really good thing."
The federal grant is contingent on the city being able to fund a certain percentage of the entire project. Alcombright said the commission and city have discussed the new building for the past few years, but he has been reluctant to promise funding.
"Through those few years and those discussions it has been very difficult for me to be able to commit to that kind of money to the project," the mayor said. "As much as we wanted to, it was just a difficult decision."
Alcombright said this decision became easier a few months ago after speaking with Airport Manager Bill Greenwald who was in contact with Patten. After Patten showed interest in donating the $200,000, an agreement was written.
The only condition Patten had was that he could have naming rights to the building. The name ultimately will be approved by the commission, but according to the agreement the approval will not be "unreasonably" upheld.
Turboprop East, established in 1968, is a major Northeast maintenance facility for several lines of aircraft. The Patten Family Companies purchased the Turboprop in 1995.
Alcombright noted that over the past 15 years, nearly $30 million has been spent on airport improvements.
"This administrative building will give us the ability to now look at the proper ways to manage it more efficiently … and grow in the future," the Mayor said. "I think it’s a great thing, a great a footprint, and there will be more to come."
Commissioner Trevor Gilman noted that most of the money used for the infrastructure improvements came through federal grants funded by airline ticket fees. The city's share for individual projects was usually 2.5 percent to 5 percent. This money from the city in most cases was borrowed and paid back through airport fees.
The commission voted to accept the gift, to authorize the chairman to execute the agreement with Patten, and to accept the grant award from the state Department of Transportation for the administrative building.
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