BATAVIA, N.Y. — There is a plan to rebuild the terminal at the Genesee County Airport, but the county highway superintendent says the county does not have money to pay for it.
The terminal was built in the 1960s.
"It was probably one of the first what they called pre-engineered metal buildings. Probably built very energy inefficient; the walls are an inch and a half thick. It has single-pane windows. The way it's configured, we get a lot of snow drifting off of the hanger onto the terminal roof" said Genesee County highway superintendent Tim Hens.
The biggest problem is the distance from the building to the runway. It's just too close.
"The Federal Aviation Administration has been after us 15-20 years to move it because it's considered a safety obstruction to those who use the airport," said Hens.
Because of the safety hazard, Hens says the FAA will provide funding to tear down the current facility and for design plans for a new one, but the $6.5 million needed for a new building will have to come from somewhere else.
The county has ideas for the terminal. It would be closer to the roadway and Hens says it will be two floors and house a cafe and possibly a rental car agency.
"Where the terminal and hanger are now would eventually become a taxiway for the runway," said Hens.
He says they are continuing to put in grant applications and he has also reached out to Genesee County Economic Development Center for help.
"Probably the lions share of it will probably have to be bonded by the county. Obviousl,y the airport produces a surplus revenue every year so we are going to use that to try to pay the bond down and try to minimize the impact to the taxpayer, but you know, a facility of this size and that size, financing, really the only way you can do it is through a long-term bond," said Hens.
He says if they are able to receive further funds or help from outside agencies, construction could begin as soon as next summer, but if not, construction may wait until 2016.