The Fort Smith Regional Airport Commission moved one month closer to finalizing the 2013 budget at the Tuesday (Oct. 23) meeting. Conservative estimates from the presented draft budget for next year project a $74,800 deficit.
However, Fort Smith Regional Airport Executive Director John Parker said revenue projections were "conservative" and expenses were "worst case scenario." A look at budget numbers from 2009 to the present reveals a surplus each year.
Using 2012 as an example, the airport estimated $2.688 million in revenues and $2.661 million in expenses. With three quarters of the year complete, end-of-the-year projections are much more optimistic with $2.652 million in planned revenue against $2.449 million in planned expenses for a surplus of $202,540.
Actual budget numbers for 2009, 2010 and 2011 paint an even brighter picture. In 2009, the Airport finished with a $262,460 surplus; in 2010, a $658,637 surplus; and in 2011, a $262,567 surplus. Furthermore, the total fund balance has grown every year, from $1.203 million in 2009 to $1.433 million in 2010 and $1.677 million in 2011.
At the commission’s next meeting, slated for Nov. 27, the final proposed budget for 2013 will come to a vote.
Through the first nine months of 2012, actual operating revenues are at $2.035 million versus $2.039 million in 2011, while operating expenses are $1.726 million versus $1.754 million in 2011. Overall revenues total $2.895 million against $2.796 million in overall expenses with the month of September showing $229,514 in revenue against $186,606 in expenses.
Also Tuesday, commissioners unanimously approved an engineering contract for Taxiway A West Construction Phase 2 with Morrison Shipley Engineers for $176,394. Parker said the contract would include "work to repackage the project to accomplish an element of Phase 3 early." The construction on Taxiway A West is "a major multi-year project," Parker said. Phase 1 finished in early 2012 and was used in both "the deployment and return of the 188th Fighter Wing main body."
Following the Morrison Shipley contract approval, commissioners agreed to accept the winning bid of $24,640 from Keathley-Patterson Electrical Supply for the replacement of 80 LED lights in the airport parking lot. The project was budgeted at $36,000.
On the lease front, commissioners agreed to allow Golden Living to remove an underground fuel tank from hangar 20. Golden Living leases the hangar from Fort Smith Regional, but has indicated that it would not be renewing when the term expires on March 1, 2013. Parker said Golden Living had been subleasing the hangar and that "the subtenant is interested in taking over" upon termination.
Parker would not name the subtenant since a contract is not in place, but indicated that "a lease will come before the commission for approval in the future."
According to Parker, airport policies state that the tenant is the owner of the fuel tanks and as such they are legally liable for any condemnation that could occur. Airport policies also state the tenant will remove the system when vacating the hangar.
Finally, Parker revealed there were no takers in the search for a restaurant operator. The proposal had been advertised throughout 2012 with a deadline of Oct. 22, but the Airport received no interest.