A brisk but sunny 40 degree morning welcomed flying enthusiasts to the airport in Mountain Green. “It’s a great day to fly,” said Joe Garfield, airport manager. “A great day like this brings everyone out.”
The ideal flying condition was not what brought the small crowd together on Saturday, Nov. 3. The group stood mingling on the runway excited about a great opportunity for our county. A new area of the Mountain Green airport has been completed, widening the availability and appeal for use. A new ramp and taxi way expand the current availability for pilots.
Currently there are 29 hangars with 17 spots available. By completing this project, the unused hangar spots become more desirable. The county collects property tax from each of those leased spots. They expect to receive increased revenue from property tax; however the county foresees benefits that extend past taxes and fees collected from the airport.
“The airport has been part of the county’s plan for economic development,” County Council member Don Mathews explained. The county has determined it is in the best interest of our community to develop the facility. The airport is owned and operated by the county and is available to the public. “It is a haven for flying enthusiasts,” said Mathews. The desired outcome is to make Morgan appealing for more businesses and individuals. There is availability for more businesses in the area surrounding the airport and this improvement at the airport increases the attractiveness of the region. It also supports our campaign to increase tourism in our county. “It represents a great opportunity to invest in our future,” Mathews stated. Those involved would like to continue to make improvements with expansions, as well as making refueling possible.
Councilman Mathews stated that our county does not have a lot of money to spend and it would have been difficult to complete the project without increasing taxes. Fortunately funding came from Utah’s Department of Aeronautics, which covered 90 percent of the cost, the county contributed the remaining 10 percent. The project had a budget of $550k, while all the receipts combined have come in at approximately $370k.
Safety was another issue taken into consideration when planning the improvements at the airport. Prior to these updates, there were more planes on and near the runway. The increased area available for use will keep the pilots and equipment safe.
Councilman Mathews expressed his appreciation for those involved, stating the whole event happened because of the hard work of a few and gave credit to the airport advisory board.