Napa Airport

Monday, September 6, 2004
Napa airport getting facelift and expansion
The Napa Valley (CA) Register

Some changes are afoot at the Napa County Airport.

A portion of the main terminal building is scheduled for a facelift and expansion, land is being added to the runway area, and the fees collected in the surrounding area may be getting a boost.

Meeting room upgrade

The Napa County Board of Supervisors awarded a contract on Tuesday to Page Construction of Novato, giving the go-ahead to construction on the administration area of the airport.

The relatively modest $58,658 price tag is aimed primarily at upgrading the room where the Airport Advisory Committee meets. Janet Walker, an assistant engineer in the public works department, said by not moving ahead with the work at this time, given the south county growth and increased activity in the area, the facility will become inadequate, leading to the need to find a new and larger venue for meetings.

“As the area around the airport has developed,” she said in a staff report, “there has been a greater interest in airport activities and the number of interested public attending the AAC meetings is growing.”

Walker predicts there will be an increasing demand for public meeting space, and the airport room can be made available. In addition, a break room for airport workers will be added.

Land purchase for runway safety

The Federal Aviation Administration approved a grant application submitted by the county this spring for $1.128 million for the acquisition of 26 acres of land near the north end of one of the main runways at the airport. The additional land is intended to bolster safety and security.

The FAA grant makes up 95 percent of the needed funds for purchasing the property. The remaining $53,515 will come from a combination of state money and the local airport enterprise fund.

The current owner of the property is the Jane V. Gunn Trust which at one time owned much of the land surrounding the airport and has been subsequently developed as the Napa Valley Gateway Business Park.

The FAA, in a rare move, made new money available last year when construction and environmental delays thwarted other plans around the nation. If the new projects could be completed within 180 days, the funding could be made available. Since this was a fairly simple plan and there was a willing seller, an appraisal was completed and the grant request was submitted in April.

A staff report points out there will be future costs for maintenance and for fencing the property. It is the final link in completing airport ownership of the land associated with runway 18R and its safety zone.P

The land had been listed in the airport’s capital improvement program plans for the past five years.

Development fees reviewed

Supervisors on Tuesday received an annual update on the traffic mitigation fees collected over the years from developers in the airport area. It was a precursor to a consultant’s report expected soon which will likely lead to an upward adjustment of those fees.

The Airport Area Specific Plan was adopted in 1986 with the actual fee structure implemented in 1990. Since that time, $3,224,402 has been collected. Of that amount, $994,456 has been spent on approved projects, leaving a balance with interest of $3,009,749.

The consultant is currently reviewing the fee program as part of an overall review of the jobs/housing study.

Projects that have received funding from the mitigation fee source include Devlin Road improvements, signals at Kelly Road and Highway 12 and a bridge widening at Soscol Creek.