A demolition project that will clear the way for a proposed runway extension at Frederick Municipal Airport could go to bid early next year.
Contractors have completed the design for Bailes Lane demolition, airport staff said at the airport commission meeting Thursday, and the work is tentatively scheduled to go to bid in March.
The city has budgeted $243,000 for the design.
The plan would remove houses in Tulip Hill and the old Waffle House before taking down the buildings closest to East Patrick Street and working northward, assistant airport manager Nick Sabo wrote in an email.
There are a few different ways the demolition could be done, according to Art Dee, airport commission chairman. The buildings could be taken down all at once or in phases, depending on the cost estimates of the bids.
The demolition is expected to cost $8 million, according to an estimate early this year.
The commission hopes the work will be done by September and if a second phase is needed, to complete the project in spring 2016.
Dee said getting rid of the old Waffle House building would be positive for Frederick.
“That's kind of an eyesore,” he said in a phone interview. “It's not only good for the airport, but it's good for the community.”
Budget projected to balance
A tentative proposal for the fiscal 2016 airport budget shows a positive balance of a few thousand dollars, according to manager Rick Johnson, aside from a land debt payment.
Last fiscal year, the airport needed $76,100 from Frederick's general fund to balance its $2 million expenses, according to a budget presentation.
“It shows that we're doing our due diligence on our side,” Johnson said. “If we didn't have that land debt, we'd be pretty much balanced.”
The city will need to pay $1 million on the $11 million debt in 2016. The debt was incurred to buy land for the proposed runway expansion.
Airport commission elects new leaders
New leadership will take the helm of the airport commission in January.
Jon Harden, president of Aviation Insurance Resources and longtime airport commission member, will become chairman.
Dee is stepping down as chairman after three years, although he will remain a part of the commission.
Ted Gregory, chief financial officer of The Frederick News-Post, will remain vice chairman.
Follow Kelsi Loos on Twitter: @KelsiFNP.