The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

March 24, 2013

Airport weighing options on projects

JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown airport leaders may have to turn down some state grants because there isn’t enough money to provide the local matching funds.

Members of the Johnstown-Cambria County Airport Authority are weighing options on three projects already approved for state and federal funding: An upgrade of several hangars, aircraft refueling system replacement and a new emergency response truck.

The authority submits grant applications based on its long-term plan, board Chairman James Loncella explained at last week’s meeting. Often, the grants are turned down, so plans get set back.

“We got three all at once and they are big,” Loncella said. “And the matches are big.”

The long-awaited “fuel farm” project is the most pressing, authority members agreed, but it is also the most expensive.

Bids were tabulated for last week’s meeting. Low bids approved by the airport’s engineers at L. Robert Kimball totaled $1,065,174 for the minimum project, and $1,196,174 with some requested options.

Straw Construction of Boswell submitted the lowest base bid of $526,286.40 for site work and removal of existing underground tanks. Seneca Cos. of Des Moines, Iowa, had the lowest base bid of $538,887.36 for new tanks and installation. The project replaces aging underground tanks with a new above-ground system.

The bids came in under the engineers’ estimate base cost of $1,161,000 and saved about $200,000 from previous bids received in 2011.

But there is only $575,000 in state grant money approved for the fuel farm project, requiring a minimum match of $425,000 in local funds.

“We have to do something there, or it’s going to leak,” Loncella said. “Then we are going to have problems there.”

The authority instituted a fee on aircraft fuel of 10 cents a gallon to help cover the cost. After two years, there is $49,000 in the account.

Future proceeds from the fee would help cover a loan payment for the rest of the local cost, authority member Richard Weaver pointed out.

“Best case is $300,000 more in local match that we have to come up with,” Loncella said.

“To lower the cost without rebidding, you can award the contract, but reserve the right to negotiate down,” Solicitor Timothy Leventry told the board.

The cost can be reduced by up to 25 percent without another round of bidding, Leventry said.

“If you are unsuccessful, then you can terminate the contract,” he said.

Meanwhile, the authority has to decide if it can move forward with hangar repairs using a $250,000 state grant announced last month. That grant requires an equal match of $250,000.

Either project will require a loan, but Leventry recommended against taking a piecemeal approach.

“The airport (authority) needs to decide what it wants to do,” Leventry said.

“The last thing the airport wants to do is borrow multiple times.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • DePrimio, Mary Grace Winner of scholarship contest to represent Pa.

    Seventeen high school seniors, including three from this region, are competing to be named Distinguished Young Woman of Pennsylvania 2015.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Restaurant makes pitch for local noise law

    A Scalp Avenue wing chain owner trying to entice Richland Township officials to take over his commercial neighborhood’s noise enforcement made his pitch Monday, saying it would allow him to add outdoor events with rock bands and oldies DJs on summer nights.

    July 28, 2014

  • Tom Grenell Arena, promoter nearing new deal

    A new contract is almost in place that will retain SMG as the Cambria County War Memorial Arena’s promoter for at least five years and create a schedule for the county to pay down more than $400,000 in debt.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • PennDOT pushes ‘Yellow Dot’ vehicle stickers

    It’s the car sticker that could save your life.
    PennDOT’s “Yellow Dot” program has been around for several years, said Daniel Zakraysek, coordinator of the Cambria Allegheny Regional Highway Safety Network.

    July 28, 2014

  • Remembering elephant’s rampage

    The circus elephant paced the landing outside the Jaffa Mosque in Altoona.
    Police formed an uneasy line around the perimeter of the venue’s lawn, rifles at the ready.
    It was a cloudy, cold day in April 1993, and Tyke the elephant had just run around the circus ring, slapped a baboon and burst through a building’s front door, tearing off part of the wall above the door.

    July 28, 2014

  • 3rd Kennywood coaster earns title

    The group American Coaster Enthusiasts has named the Thunderbolt a Coaster Landmark, the third roller coaster to be so recognized at the Kennywood amusement park near Pittsburgh.

    July 28, 2014

  • Candidates rush to counter flurry of TV attack ads

    A flurry of new TV ads has debuted in Pennsylvania’s campaign for governor, sending candidates scrambling to counter the attacks as the spending and rhetoric ratchet up.

    July 28, 2014

  • State briefs 7/29/2014

    July 28, 2014

  • Local briefs 7/29/2014

    July 28, 2014

  • wolfe.jpg Three region hospitals joining forces through oversight board

    Three area hospitals announced the formation of a joint oversight board to control costs, strengthen buying influence and improve patient outcomes.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads