06/23/04 — Global TransPark board approves operating budget

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Global TransPark board approves operating budget

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on June 23, 2004 1:58 PM

KINSTON -- The future financial situation of the N.C. Global TransPark and upcoming projects were discussed Tuesday in detail.

The GTP Authority board of directors approved an operations budget for the park of $2.26 million, which will begin with the new fiscal year on July 1.

A large portion of the budget depends on the $1.6 million the GTP has requested from the state. A Senate subcommittee voted Tuesday to provide the money, but the full House and Senate still have to consider it.

The 2004-2005 budget's largest expense is $936,415 to operate the Kinston Regional Jetport.

It also includes $105,000 to keep its flight tower open and a possible $1,000 annual raise for the park's 15 full-time employees.

The budget is a little less than the current budget of $2.37 million. The GTP's full budget for next year is about $26.1 million, which will be approved in August or September. These numbers were distributed to the board, which was joined by other county and state officials and Kinston residents.

Darlene Waddell, GTP's executive director, said they have cut costs to help the park become self-sufficient. The full-time staff has dropped from 31 to 15, and they have cut the number of telephone lines.

She said the bid for Boeing cost the GTP $70,000, which was an added expense. It has provided the park with more publicity, and she said the park was Boeing's second choice.

She said one of the GTP tenants, Seagrave Aviation, is negotiating the purchase of a plane that would allow flights to Europe. Having the aircraft would, in turn, increase the tax base for Lenoir County.

"It may take years to fully realize the Global TransPark's potential," added Ms. Waddell.

There are several projects going on at the park, which were outlined by Jeff Sheehan of Duke Realty.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in April at the TransPark for a 120,000-square-foot warehouse called GTP One. The $3.8 million building is expected to be completed by the end of this year, said Sheehan. He received several general contractor bids and the lowest one was from The Haskell Co., which is based in Florida. He said a large percentage of the subcontractors will be locally based, although he is not sure who the companies will be and if Duke will definitely go with Haskell.

He said Duke has gone through the normal marketing tactics, including a mail and phone campaign, for GTP One and other available space at the park. A 40,000-square-foot operations facility should be completed by the end of the year.

"We see a lot of potential in the TransPark," said Sheehan.

There are plans for a new 200,000-square-foot building, which is contingent upon a prospect agreeing to come to the GTP. A 60,000-square-foot North Cargo Building was completed and a 20,000-square-foot hangar is being built by Aero Contractors, an aircraft charter company. It will house a Boeing Business Jet 737-700 aircraft.

The executive committee approved several contracts, which include the following:

*$150,000 with Trinity Works to assist with the development plans at the GTP.

*$66,000 with EcoScience Corp. for the continuation of its environmental work.

*$100,000 with LPA for ongoing engineering consulting.

*$150,000 with Concurrent Technologies Corp. for developing federal and military programs related to economic development and homeland security.

*$105,000 with 3Dsolve for the setup and installation of a customized 3D training environment.

*Three contracts for the upgrading of the instrument landing system to Category III -- $270,743 with LPA; $691,390 with Walker and Whiteside, Inc.; $934,528 with Lanier Construction Co.

Jerry Beckman with Arcadis G&M of N.C. Inc. described some beautification plans at the GTP and presented before and after pictures to illustrate the improvements. Some of the plans include the relocation of power lines, repainting of street and directional signs, additional planting around entrance signs and improving view corridors.

EcoScience Corp. has been contracted to develop a stormwater master plan at the park. The total projected cost is $5.4 million, and the company applied for a $3 million state grant. A 22-acre and 27-acre system is in the plan, which would be the largest systems in the Southeast, according to Jerry McCrain of EcoScience.