After roughly two years of negotiations and with a total price tag of over $2 million, the City of Camdenton has now acquired all 11 pieces of property necessary to expand the municipal airport runway.

After roughly two years of negotiations and with a total price tag of over $2 million, the City of Camdenton has now acquired all 11 pieces of property necessary to expand the municipal airport runway.

Expanding the runway is seen as a key component to attracting additional corporate jet traffic and has been touted by city officials as a future significant economic booster to the city and region. But now they must play the waiting game as federal officials decide whether or not to continue funding the project in the upcoming years.

Discussions of extending the Camdenton Memorial Lake Regional Airport runway from 4,000 to 5,000-feet has been going on since before 2007, but picked up in recent years when the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Aviation Division and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a 90/10-percent federal to local funding agreement in 2012.

The total overall project cost is expected to be roughly $7-million dollars and take approximately two years. The 192-acre airport that sits approximately three miles from the center of the city, located off of Old Route 5, had its runway expanded from 3,000 to 4,000 feet in 2002.

“This is something that I’ve been waiting for some time to say that this is the last piece of property we need to purchase for the airport extension,” Mayor John McNabb said, referring to the property that was purchased for $115,000.

Camdenton has essentially paid for all the properties up front, but receives 90-percent of the total costs reimbursed by MoDOT, leaving a 10-percent local match. The City has also had to require all necessary avigation easements.

Two budget amendments approved by the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday reflected revenue increases related to those funding mechanisms. A total of $215,290 worth of transportation fund revenues were provided in grant funds to offset land purchases as well as a total of $330,500 for the purchase of more properties than anticipated.

“What it boils down to in our transportation fund we bought more pieces of property than we had anticipated at the beginning of the year,” City Clerk Renée Kingston said. “We did get the revenue to offset at the 90/10, so it just makes our funds look good for the auditors.”

City Administrator Jeff Hancock said now is the time for officials and aldermen to lobby their congressional delegation for FAA funding approval. Hancock said he has already been in discussions with members of Congress and the Senate and foresees sending out more letters seeking support of Missouri representatives.

“Now there’s no reason the FAA should not fund this project,” Hancock said. “We really need to get this funding to start the project next year.”

The first phase of the project is dirt work around the airport and newly purchased properties to make way for the expansion.

Other improvements:

Camdenton has received additional federal funding for the Apron Overlay Project and expects that work to be completed before the July 2018 Porsche Parade event. The project is scheduled to start April 2018.

The airport’s apron, or parallel taxi, is where a majority of the air show events are held each year and has deteriorated over the years, becoming a concern for aircraft traffic. Dedicated in 1949, the airport underwent renovations in the 1990s before recent upgrades were made in the 2000s.

In December 2016, the board approved an agreement for a 90/10-percent match grant through the Missouri State Block Program for the amount of $61,650 that required a total of $6,850 in local transportation funds to cover the design work for the apron overlay.

In 2008 and 2009, the airport installed an Automated Airport Weather Station (AWOS), making it legal for corporate jets to land and takeoff, added precision approaches using vertical GPS to the runways, and installed a wildlife fence to prevent mainly deer from running out on the runway.

Approximately five years later, the airport was officially renamed the Camdenton Memorial Lake Regional Airport and around that time began planning the Veteran’s Memorial Monument which was finished in September 2016.