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Garden City voters approve sales tax for new airport terminal

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 5:10 AM CDT
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GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KWCH) - Voters in Garden City made their voices heard Tuesday. And by a wide margin, they said yes to a new, improved airport terminal. With 100 percent of its precincts reporting, the results on Garden City’s sales tax question show 1,722 in support of it with 556 opposed. The terminal at the Garden City Regional Airport has largely been unchanged since 1959. Tuesday night, voters approved a 0.15 cents sales tax to help fund the improvement over 15 years.

The new terminal is expected to cost around $30 million. Federal and state money covers $22 million, leaving about $8 million to be raised with the sales tax. Any extra money will go toward other city projects such as parks and tax stabilization, the city said.

Residents of Garden City will vote Tuesday on a sales tax question, deciding on an increase that would go toward renovations of the Garden City Regional Airport. The terminal has been largely unchanged since 1959, but now its personnel are looking for a makeover.

“The 1959 terminal has a lot of flaws,” said the airport’s director of aviation, Rachel Powell. “Mostly it’s space and space allocation. It inhibits the ability to upgrade technology and enhance our security, so our security room is very small and we don’t have enough space to accommodate our passengers.”

The new terminal is expected to cost around $30 million. Federal and state money covers $22 million. Voters will decide on a sales-tax increase of .15 cents to pay the remaining cost over 15 years. Any extra money will go toward other city projects such as parks and tax stabilization.

“An airport terminal is basically a gateway to your community,” Powell said. “Garden City is very progressive, so is southwest Kansas, so when we’re looking at business development, medical resources, recruiting college students - you know this is going to be their first impression.”

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