State Panel Commits To Helping Pay For New Watertown Airport Terminal

KELO Watertown

The South Dakota Aeronautics Commission agreed Wednesday to provide up to $517,960 toward construction of a new passenger terminal at the Watertown airport.

Architect Mitchell Walker said the project’s final price hasn’t been determined but could be $17 million. Walker said the Federal Aviation Administration might provide $13.1 million.

The proposal calls for a new terminal of about 22,000 square feet. The current terminal is about 10,000 square feet.

By comparison, Pierre received about $9.5 million in federal grants from 2009 through 2011 to renovate its terminal.

Walker said Watertown officials don’t want to ask for too little. “Right now I’m pretty comfortable with that number,” he told the commission.

Mobridge received federal approval last year for a supplemental grant of nearly $4.1 million for a runway project.

Commission Chairman Eric Odenbach of Eureka said the state commitment would be revisited if Watertown isn’t chosen in the next round of supplemental federal grants.

The commission met in Watertown as part of a statewide convention for airports.

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