Airport remodel on schedule despite unexpected asbestos

Kenai City Hall (File photo)

Kenai City Hall (File photo)

Construction at the Kenai Airport continues, but costs are creeping higher than anticipated.

At Wednesday’s city council meeting, City Manager Paul Ostrander warned the council that he will most likely bring a resolution for more funds in the new year.

“Because of asbestos that was not found during the design process, it appears we’re going to have to do a serious amount of abatement,” Ostrander said. “And it looks like we’re going to burn through a significant portion of our contingency.”

The funds will be eligible for reimbursement from the federal government, though.

“The positive on that, of course, is that the majority of those costs will be ultimately paid for by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration),” Ostrander said. “But it is unfortunate that it appears there is a significant amount of asbestos.”

The city included a $500,000 contingency when budgeting the projected, which is expected to cost about $12 million when completed.

The construction still remains on schedule, despite the asbestos.

Council member Henry Knacksteadt reported that the construction is going well otherwise. A few temporary offices near the restaurants are almost completed, for the car agencies to relocate during construction.

“There’s not going to be any decorations this year, due to construction though,” Knacksteadt said. “It’s kind of ‘bah humbug’ over at the airport, but there’s a lot of other great things going on there.”

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