Airport authority has no comment

The Williamsport Regional Airport Authority declined to comment during its Thursday evening meeting on why the Lycoming County commissioners are holding a bill payment for the airport’s new terminal project.

Tom Hart, executive director for the airport, said a meeting is set with the commissioners later this month to discuss the bill, but so far neither he nor the authority have been told the reason the bill was withheld.

During their Tuesday morning meeting, the commissioners broke for a private session and when they returned voted not to pay the $82,113 bill to the airport, citing legal reasons. According to Hart, the bill would have been for engineering or architectural fees related to the terminal.

At the Thursday morning meeting, Commissioner Jack McKernan said the bill would “remain in a ‘on hold’ position at this time.” He and the rest of the commissioners declined to offer further comment.

The total terminal project is estimated at roughly $16.5 million, and in October the commissioners voted to provide a local match of $2 million to the project. The funds are provided incrementally as the authority submits its bills for reimbursement pending a review by the county.

On April 13, the authority awarded contracts to four bidders for different sections of the project.

The construction of the terminal, at $7.9 million, was awarded to Lobar Inc. Construction Services, Dillsburg, but with a local office at 565 Beautys Run Road, Cogan Station. During their Thursday morning meeting, the commissioners said they began litigation with Lobar a few months prior over a project Lobar did for the county landfill, which the landfill claims was not completed to the contract’s specifications.

Matt McDermott, director of administration for the county, said the litigation with Lobar has nothing to do with the commissioner’s decision to withhold the bill for the terminal.

Three other contracts for the terminal went to LTS Plumbing and Heating, at $476,000 for plumbing; Master Mechanical, at $1.9 million, for heating, ventilating and air conditioning; and Tra Electric, at $1.9 million, for electrical work.

In other business, the authority approved bid advertising for a new project to relocate an electrical control vault on the airport property. Hart said the project is federally funded and while it was previously awarded to Tra Electric, it must now be rebid because Tra was unable to stay within the bid requirements due to rate increases from the time the bid originally was awarded.

The authority also approved three payments for its ongoing project to lower the flight minimums for aircraft approaching the runway. The payments were for general construction and electric to Glenn O Hawbaker, at $121,145, and Bronder Technical Services at $134,785.

The next authority meeting will be at 7:30 a.m. June 7.

The authority members present were Christopher Logue, Atwood Welker, Frank Pellegrino, Rebecca Burke and state Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy. Ryan M.Tira and William Martin were absent.


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