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North Adams Expects Minimal Interest in Airport Restaurant
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
10:08PM / Saturday, February 01, 2020
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The airport terminal is about ready to move into but is still missing a cafe.


The commission may have to reformulate an RFP for a restaurant at the airport terminal if it does not get enough bids.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city does not expect much of a response for the airport terminal restaurant request for proposals.
 
Administrative Officer Michael Canales told the Airport Commission on Wednesday that only one person came to the pre-bid site visit earlier this month and he does not expect a high number of bidders, if any.
 
"At this time, I am not really expecting any and I would be surprised if we receive any in this round," Canales said. "If we do get one, then I will be presenting it at the next meeting so we will see."
 
The city moved and renovated a former doctors building on the airport campus to act as the new terminal and administrative building. The facility was renovated to house a restaurant overlooking the runway at Harriman & West Airport.
 
Canales previously stated that there was a lot of interest in the space but Wednesday said only five bid packets were taken.
 
He understood that the hours set by the commission may have created some concern among those interested. Last year, the commission only set one requirement on a potential restaurant: It must be open at least five days a week.
 
Canales said the commission can vote to change this to something potentially more favorable.  
 
"We can look to see what alternatives that we can place in the RFP then release it in February," he said.  
 
Canales also read a report from the airport's engineer, Stantec, and said the building is essentially done and contractors are working through a punch list. 
 
"They are working to complete the items," he said. "They are looking this week to have the [certificate of occupancy] issued on the building."
 
The project was set to be completed last year but an unforeseen insulation issue caused a substantial delay. 
 
Stantec will provide a letter of completion when everything is wrapped up and the project does include a $20,000 furniture allowance.  
 
Chairman Jeff Naughtan said the commissioners are also working on draft regulations for an RFP seeking a Fixed Base Operator to run the airport. They plan to form a subcommittee to refine the RFP. 
 
The commission discussed the future federally funded perimeter fence project and airport user Trevor Gilman asked if the commission favored this project.
 
"I am just wondering if this is Stantec guiding the project direction or is it an Airport Commission initiative?" Gilman asked. "Does the commission want to spend the money we get annually on some of these other things?"
 
Chairman Jeff Naughton said he was under the impression that this project was driven by the Federal Aviation Authority but would ask Stantec.
 
Gilman, a former airport commissioner, said the commission typically make its own decisions when it comes to federal funding.
 
Questions also came up about cracks in the runway that was repaved 10 years ago. Canales said he would investigate this and see if there are grant funds coming or money already available for crack sealing.
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