Funds approved for utility work at Great Falls International Airport
The city’s planning board approved this month the use of $107,383.14 of Great Falls International Airport Tax Increment Industrial District funds to reimburse the airport for expenses related to the extension of public infrastructure to the southwest general aviation complex.
The City Commission will next consider the request and the disbursement of tax increment financing funds requires commission approval.
Tax increment financing allows municipalities to use new tax dollars from increasing taxable values for reinvestment within the geographic area in which they were derived for a period of 15 years, or up to 40 years if the funds are pledged to the repayment of a bond, according to city documents.
The city currently has five TIF district and the airport district was created by the City Commission in 2008 and the boundaries were amended in 2009.
The southwest general aviation complex started developing in 1995 when the existing Front Range Aviation facility was built. The area didn’t have public utilities and recent development has allowed the airport to extend city water and sewer lines to the complex. That work is what the airport requested TIF funds to support.
The 2014 airport master plan update included new areas and potential hangar layout opens in the southwest part of the property to maximize potential future development. Since that time, the airport started constructing supporting infrastructure in the area including the snow removal facility, which was federally funded and helped the airport extend utilities.
Front Range Aviation continues to operate in the complex and in September, Eagle Jet Solutions broke ground on a new 200 foot by 200 foot hangar. The potential development within the southwest general aviation complex would result in 10 new full-time positions over the next 20 years, as well as support existing aviation businesses that account for about 155 full time jobs, according to the airport and city documents.