Steve Harding

Pierre Mayor Steve Harding

Whenever I attend a public event, I get a real sense of what people want to know about City of Pierre operations. I get that sense because I get peppered with questions –and I’m really happy I do! It provides me with an opportunity to answer questions, provide information, and clear up misinformation.

Top of mind, from the people I talked to this week, was the airport. People want to know about the new taxiway, who’s paying for it, and how that construction will interfere with the flight schedule and special events we have happening at the Pierre airport this summer.

Here’s the deal. We’re redoing Taxiway B this upcoming construction season. We just bid out the project to local contractor Morris, Inc. this week. The $4 million project will reconstruct the taxiway that connects the airport terminal to both of our runways.

Thanks to the strong passenger numbers we’ve been seeing since United Express began operations at the airport in April, we were able to tap some federal dollars for the taxiway project. In fact, the federal government is paying for 90% of the reconstruction; the State will pick up 5%, and the City will pick up the remainder.

Throughout this whole project, commercial service and general aviation operations will continue. As is the norm with airport projects, we will work the construction around operations. That includes the Let Freedom Fly Airshow that’s scheduled for the Fourth of July weekend and the 2020 Air Race Classic that will fly into town in late June.

After those events are complete, we’ll start work to expand parking at the airport and to improve airport road.

If you have other questions about City operations, you can keep up on City activity by following us on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, signing up for City alerts via the notify me link on our website, or by tuning into the City Commission meetings. They’re held everything Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. The meetings are open to the public, broadcast live on Oahe TV, and available live or on demand on OaheTV.com. (Much of the city’s activities and meetings are also covered by the Capital Journal newspaper.)

Of course, you’re always welcome to talk to me at community events, the grocery store, gas station, or wherever it is that you might run into me. I’m in the phone book, and my email address is steve.harding@ci.pierre.sd.us; I’m always happy to provide accurate information about our community.

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