TRENTON — The Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport will begin seeking requests for proposals March 26 for its terminal building expansion.
The Hancock County Commissioners March 5 approved starting the bid process in a split vote. Commissioners Antonio Blasi and Steve Joy voted in favor of the proposal while Commission Chairman Percy “Joe” Brown voted against it.
Brown said the airport doesn’t represent his constituents on the western side of the county.
“My constituents will ask you, what do we have the airport for?” Brown said.
Before the vote, Rick Malm of Lewis + Malm Architecture presented the board with sketches and answered questions about the project, which will more than double the size of the terminal from 4,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet.
The airport needs an expansion largely due to housing of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The expansion is estimated to cost $2.2 million, of which the Federal Aviation Administration would pay 90 percent. The airport would pay 5 percent or $400,000 and the Maine Department of Transportation the remaining 5 percent.
Malm said the plan is to go to bid March 26 and get bids returned by April 23 in time to meet a Federal Aviation Administration May 1 deadline.
“We’re on track, but we can’t miss a step in order to meet all these deadlines,” Malm said. “The intent would be to start as quickly as we can to get FAA approval.”
With FAA approval, construction could start in July.
There will be no interruption in service.
“Operations will be continuous throughout,” said airport General Manager Allison Rogers.