County of St. Paul & Town of Elk Point look to the future of the Elk Point Airport
The County of St. Paul and Town of Elk Point are working on an operations agreement for the Elk Point Airport. The agreement is usually finalized near the end of October and presented in November for a December approval. This year the County has asked for the operations agreement to be prepared earlier, for an October approval. Town of Elk Point Chief Administrative Officer, Ken Gwozdz says the Airport Authority, made up of representatives from the Town & County, are looking into a number of factors while drafting the agreement.
Elk Point Town Council has approved a ten year lease agreement, on the airport, with the Province of Alberta. The idea being that during the ten years, the Town will evaluate the viability of the airport and decide whether or not the Town (and/or the County) may want to take over the airport’s ownership completely, explains Town Chief Administrative Officer, Ken Gwozdz.
“The Province wants the municipalities’ Airport Commission to take ownership of the airport. The Municipalities have done an engineering study, by Isal Engineering, who have 40 years experience, and they’ve identified a number of deficiencies.” Gwozdz explains that neither municipality (Elk Point or the County) wants to take on the airport if it has an extreme amount of deficiencies or if the airport would end up costing the municipalities large sums of money to operate, without any recovery. “Those deficiencies, there’s no funding for them. So, the Municipalities said, ‘until there’s funding we’re not going to assume ownership’.”
The reason for the move up in the operations agreement was strictly budgetary, explains Gwozdz, “we usually do our Budget in December, whereas the County does theirs a little earlier in the year.”