- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Clean cars could be trumped by refined runways at the Bismarck airport.

City commissioners on Tuesday delayed a decision about plans for a car wash for rental vehicles at the airport because nearly $50 million in runway repairs are needed.

The debate is whether the city should use $2 million in airport cash reserves to pay for the car wash or save it for the local share of the runway costs to match federal funds, the Bismarck Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1B5B8aT ).

Early this year, engineers said that airport’s main runway needed to be reconstructed in the next three to five years. This summer, temporary repairs were done to the runway for less than $2 million, airport manager Greg Haug said.

The city commission in 2012 approved building an airport car wash for Hertz, Enterprise and Avis, the three car rental companies that lease counter space at the airport terminal. Haug said the companies requested the on-site car wash.

The plan was for the commission to use its cash reserves to pay for the car wash and the three car rental companies would lease it in long-term contracts for their counter space and special fees, according to Haug.

Commissioner Josh Askvig said the city should lease land to the companies, and have them or a third-party developer build the car wash.

“I think we have bigger things to do,” he said. “We have a significant bill coming in our runway reconstruction.”

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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