The proposed 2020 budgets for the Warsaw Municipal Airport total more than 23.7% greater than this year’s budgets.

Airport Manager Nick King presented the budgets to the Board of Aviation Commissioners Tuesday.

“The airport does have two budgets. 206 is our general operating budget. That is salaries, day-to-day expenditures and everything like that. I’m proposing that we don’t have our budget for 476, which is our depreciation fund or large projects. (It) is going to be zero next year,” King said.

The first entire section of 206 is salaries, wages, employee benefits, PERF, FICA and Medicare. King said he was given the numbers to insert into that part of the budget from the city’s human resources department. Overall, between all those line items, King said it’s about a 2.9% proposed increase over the 2019 budget.

The numbers for insurance “are pretty good guesses of what that insurance number will be,” but King said there may be a line cut there at the beginning of next year once the city gets its final insurance numbers.

Under supplies, King said there’s been a few changes including a $500 increase from $2,000 to $2,500 to office and computer supplies because the cost of ink and paper has increased. He also increased postage because of an increase in that cost.

In operating supplies – fuel, oil, batteries – those costs also have gone up so he added $5,000 to that line item to cover the increased costs.

Under repair and maintenance, which covers everything from runway and building maintenance to aircraft support facilities and taxiway lights, King said he increased that by $5,000 from $20,000 to $25,000.

In the next section, other services and charges, King kept it almost flat, except for the airport’s insurance. He said he hasn’t received a firm number yet so he budgeted a 15% increase. Once the final numbers are in, that will be adjusted.

The last section was capital outlays.

“This is where the biggest change is taking place. Line 444, which is improvements other than buildings, has gone up substantially as you can see, $125,000 more than last year for a total of $175,000,” King said.

He said the biggest reason for the jump is because that “line is typically for pavement maintenance, crack filling, resealing of runways, repainting of runways, building new ramps for hangars that are being built, things like that. We need between 50 and 70,000 dollars next year for some pavement maintenance that we need to do for both of our taxiways. The other 90,000 that is in that budget is for the reconstruction of runway 1836.”

Board President Jay Rigdon asked if that was for the airport’s local match. King said it was and the entire project was $1.8 million and the local portion is $90,000. The state will match the $90,000.

“So we’ll be able to get a whole new (north/south) runway and the local portion will only be $90,000,” King said.

Rigdon asked why the money was coming out of the basic operating budget as opposed to coming out of 476.

King said he discussed it with Mayor Joe Thallemer and Clerk-Treasurer Lynne Christiansen and “with the FAA telling us the (lowering of) the power lines will happen in 2021, the local share of that project will be between $360,000 and $390,000, depending on how that final cost comes out. So we need that money in the depreciation budget for that large project then ... and save that money for the power lines when they happen.”

Under machinery and equipment, this year $75,000 was in that line and for 2020 $119,500 is being budgeted. King said part of that will go toward replacing the airport’s oldest plow truck, a 2002 F250, with possibility an F350. The airport also will look at replacing its courtesy car, which is a 2001 Ford Taurus, because repairing it is getting to be more expensive than it’s worth.

Another big tentative purchase in 2020 will be for the replacement of a mower that is 18 to 20 years old.

The airport’s total budget in 2019 was $842,116. The proposed budget for 2020 is $1,042,971.

Rigdon said, “Essentially, if I’m looking at that, the numbers you gave, about 80% of that increase is simply because we’re taking money out of the depreciation fund and we’re spending it here in order to be able to have that money later.”

King then did bring a “last thing” to the board on the budget that was brought to his attention Tuesday afternoon.

“Our fueled airframe and power plant mechanic, Air Care Inc., the owner (John Blosser) is retiring and he looked at selling his hangar to a few other individuals to see if they would be interested in buying a business. That has not happened yet and his realtor has approached me to see if the airport board would be interested in purchasing that building,” King said.

Prices are not yet known, but he said they would need a professional to appraise the building. If the airport decided to purchase it, King said they could use the space for equipment and/or document storage. The airport could also charge for letting aircraft owners park their planes in the building overnight.

Board members were more interested in finding someone else to continue to do Blosser’s line of work in that hangar. Dan Robinson, board member, said the value to finding a mechanic to work in that hangar would be “huge.” Rigdon said if the airport had space designed for that, he’d like for it to stay available for that use.

King said he’d start contacting appraisers for the building, investigate finding someone to go into that building and how that would work.