Pullman willing to commit $2 million on airport terminal

FILE — An Alaska Airlines airplane sits outside the terminal at the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport in this 2019 file photo.

The Pullman City Council on Tuesday agreed it is willing to contribute $2 million to the new Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport terminal.

The terminal is estimated to cost $61 million. Of that amount, $51 million will come from federal funding, including CARES Act dollars. The airport is working to raise $6.1 million from local partners.

Pullman and Moscow will each contribute $2 million while the airport tries to raise money from other local entities, such as Washington State University, University of Idaho, and Whitman and Latah counties.

The proposed 38,000-square-foot terminal is expected to be completed by 2023.

Pullman City Administrator Mike Urban said Pullman could use $700,000 in grant money from the city’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee to help fund the terminal. That grant money was originally intended to fund the Lawson Garden House event center, but that project fell out of favor with the City Council because of rising construction costs.

Urban also said $800,000 in American Rescue Plan Act dollars can be spent on the terminal’s stormwater infrastructure cost.

Councilor Brandon Chapman said funding the terminal is consistent with the council’s goal of supporting economic development.

“This, to me, feels like massive economic development for us,” he said.

Councilor Pat Wright said Pullman and Moscow’s contributions will help persuade other entities to join the cause.

“You have to have lead gifts to get the other gifts going forward,” she said.

Councilor Al Sorensen said he also supports the commitment to the terminal but is worried that money spent on it could mean less dollars available for other city projects such as street maintenance.

“I am not against supporting the terminal project at all, but I have concerns about the rest of the city,” he said.

Also on Tuesday, Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson announced Councilor Dan Records resigned from the City Council. The city is looking for applicants to fill his vacant seat.

Records submitted his resignation Sunday after accepting a job with Western Washington University. He has represented Pullman’s Ward 2 since 2018.

According to a Pullman news release, community members can submit their application to fill the City Council seat by Dec. 30. The application form can be found on the city’s website and at City Hall.

That person will be interviewed by the City Council and, if selected, will fill the position until the next municipal general election in 2023.

Johnson called Records “one of the best councilmembers that I’ve had the privilege to work with over the years.”

Kuipers can be reached at akuipers@dnews.com.

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