GRAHAM — Alamance County is participating in the effort to expand Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport to the tune of $100,000 to connect it to Burlington’s sewer system.
“We can’t expand any further without doing something different,” Airport Manager Dan Danieley said Monday morning, Nov. 6, at the county commissioners meeting.
The airport has been expanding steadily for years, Danieley said, but for the past 10 year has been building across Anthony Road, where it had to rely on septic tanks. It is now running out of sites that will “perk,” and it has asked Burlington to help.
It will cost about $506,200. The airport has $167,000 for the project — a $150,000 grant from the N.C. Department of Transportation makes up most of that — and the city and airport are asking the county to pitch in as well.
LabCorp, for example, Danieley said, has a hangar, but can’t ramp up its business at the airport as much as it wants if hangars can’t have bathrooms.
The airport has about 70,000 operations — take-offs or landings — a year, and houses more than 100 aircraft — which bring in property tax revenue — and more than 300 people work there.
“Things are growing. There are 10 small businesses there,” Danieley said.
Danieley said he didn’t have full tax impact numbers for the airport expansion, but he was talking to the owner of a $16 million jet now housed in Greensboro that would represent $92,800 in county taxes and $95,568 in city taxes if it moved to Burlington.
“From Jan. 1 of  to about three weeks from now, we will have added about $20 million worth of airplanes to the airport,” Danieley said.
“I like investing in our airport because there are economic benefits beyond tax revenue,” Commissioner Bob Byrd said. “The only thing I don’t like is it’s not budgeted, but under the circumstances I think it would be a wise investment.”
Galey asked whether the county had made similar contributions in the past, and was told it had done something very similar with the N.C. Industrial Center.