By Sheri Regnier, Trail Times
How much does an airport go for these days? Almost six years to the date that Teck Ltd. sold the Trail Regional Airport to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) for $1.3 million the Silver City has put in an offer.
However, Trail residents will have to wait for details in the city’s offer to purchase the 125-acre area from the regional district because the dollar amount remains under wraps for now.
“The appraised report was considered at an in-camera meeting,” said Michelle McIsaac, Trail’s corporate administrator. “Given that it deals with a land matter and negotiations with the regional district, the city isn’t releasing the value at this time.”
The City of Trail expressed its discontent to the airport’s regional stakeholders in a letter issued last summer stating “the lack of congruence and apparent indifference” to the airport service from several participants an ongoing issue and concern in the context of advancing plans for the regional airport. At an East End Services (EES) meeting at the RDKB in November, the majority of service participants, which includes Rossland, Montrose, Fruitvale and regional district areas A and B, voted down airport expansion, citing “the majority of the members were happy with the service.”
Dissatisfaction with the outcome of the service review prompted the city to throw the future of the airport into a tailspin when, in January, a member of Trail council presented a letter to the EES with an official request to purchase the airport from the RDKB.
The city was then green-lighted by the entire regional district board on Jan. 31, allowing Trail to proceed with hiring an appraiser and subsequently coming up with an offer.
Now, that offer is in the hands of the RDKB board for its consideration.
“The regional district has to consider the offer which has a number of conditions attached to it,” said Mayor Dieter Bogs. “We are hoping to hear from them within the next four to six weeks.”
Historically, Trail has been and on-and-off lease holder of the airport since its 1929 construction by the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Co. of Canada (Cominco).
According to the Trail Historical Society, the City of Trail became lease-holder of the airport in 1929, 1947, and 1959. The lease was transferred to the RDKB in 1982, at which time the airport was recognized as a service created by the regionalization of services.