Sidney residents can expect new things from local air service provider Cape Air, as they revealed plans to roll out their new carriers, the Tecnam P2012 Traveller. Cape Air Senior Vice President of Planning Andrew Bonney informed a group of citizens about the new plane and airline during a presentation at the golf course Wednesday, July 10.
“For five consecutive years, the air service here has worked really well with Cape Air,” Bonney said.
Cape Air is eager to offer the new aircraft to their passengers and are expecting to make the shift next year.
“This is the aircraft you get after you spend 30 years running nine-passenger commuter service and you have a huge laundry list of improvements you’d like to make,” Bonney said. “We developed this aircraft with Tecnam, so they have all of our best practices, all of our lessons learned.”
Bonney said the new aircraft boasts two engines for safety, an incremental seat, meaning there are nine passenger seats and two pilot seats in the cockpit. Two pilots are not required for the aircraft, however. The new plane has air conditioning and an update heating system.
“What’s really important out here is it has the most modern aviation heating system there is,” Bonney said. “Two cabin heaters and an electronic windshield defrost. From a passenger comfort standpoint, this is going to be a huge advancement and really the most comfortable commuter aircraft that’s out there in the world.”
The cabin also boasts LED lighting, USB ports, a glass cockpit, Italian leather seats and huge windows.
“The sightseeing is going to be great in this aircraft,” Bonney said. “It’s a high wing, so you have great visibility.
“We’re really, really excited about this airplane. We think it’s going to be a great welcome mat for your community when people are coming in here for the first time, arriving in Sidney in style.”
Bonney said because of better seals and sound absorbing materials, plane rides will be a little more audibly comfortable as well.
The first three planes are expected to arrive in the U.S. next week and will be ferried over to Sidney after that. The use of the aircraft will be pending some crew training after it arrives, but Cape Air expects to have eight on site by the end of 2020.
Cape Air is currently awaiting renewal of their contract for service in Montana. The new contract will begin Jan. 1, 2020, and run for four more years. Cape Air services Montana under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, a federal program that ensures smaller communities a link to the National Air Transportation System. The program provides subsidies, which allows Cape Air to keep ticket prices at an affordable level. To be eligible for EAS, a community must maintain an average of 10 enplanements or more per service day and be more than 175 driving miles from the nearest large- or medium-hub airport. A community must also have an average subsidy per passenger of less than $1,000 during the most recent fiscal year.
During the Fairview City Council meeting held Monday, July 10, Sabrina Vaira from Hotel Albert asked the council’s permission to have their beer garden outside during the Fairview Festival on July 19 and 20. All council members voted in favor of allowing the beer garden to be outside.
The resignation of Bruce Benson from the planning board was also discussed. City council is looking for someone to fill that position.
Clerk Faye Carlson read Resolution 514 about the election ballots. This resolution would allow ballots to be mailed.
“It would increase voter participation,” Carlson said.
Resolution 514 was passed with all council members voting in favor. Resolution 515 was discussed, which would give financial assistance toward updating the water system for phase two. All council members voted in favor of Resolution 515.
Ryan Kopp with Interstate Engineering gave an update on the 2019 water main replacement project.
“Everything is going smoothly,” Kopp said.
Kopp said he hadn’t heard much about the schedule, but they plan to be done sometime in August. Kopp asked for Mayor Brian
Bieber to sign the pay estimate number one in the amount of $303,018.69. The council approved the signing of that pay estimate. Bieber also signed draw number two for the water project in the amount of $348,342.
“People in town are happy with the project,” Bieber said.
Kopp also discussed the West Avenue project that would take place in 2020. Bieber said Richland County Commissioners are willing to help with funding on the project. Clerk Faye Carlson said the street is buckling and eroding.
“They’re willing to foot a good share,” Kopp said.
With part of the water main replacement project being on Western Avenue, the city will have to dig up the road to replace the water line. Then a few months down the line they would have to repair the road as well.
While council tossed around the idea of paving it over when they would have to dig it up and repave it again six months later was a matter of discussion.
“I don’t see why we’d waste money to pave it and repave it six months later,” Bieber said.
It would be an additional $25,000 if they did it that way.
In other business:
• A pool cover was donated to the city. It has been ordered and should arrive in about three weeks. Yellowstone Township donated $5,000 and Sioux Township donated $7,500.
• Forty new street signs have been put up and another 20 more will be put up over the next couple weeks.
• There was a glitch in the utility billing that caused sewer rates to change. The city is working on fixing the problem. Carlson said any accounts affected will be credited for any over charges.
1History buffs unite at the Fort Buford History Book Club at the Missouri Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center on Thursday, July 18, from 7 -8 p.m. Free refreshments will be provided.
2Fairview’s 73rd Annual Old Timers Reunion and Summer Festival begins Friday, July 19. Registration is at 5 p.m. in Sharbono Park. Live music and a street dance will be held Friday and Saturday night, from 9 p.m. — 2 a.m. on Main Street. Vendors will be in the park all day Saturday, July 20, with a program scheduled for 2 p.m.
3Shadow puppet show will be held at Makoshika State Park on Friday, July 19, at 8:30 p.m. Watch dinosaurs come alive in an interactive shadow theater performance by you. For more information, call 406-377-6256.
4Dr. Laqua and Dr. Fink invite you to their open sports physical night Monday, July 22, and Tuesday, July 23, from 5-8 p.m., at Sidney Elks Lodge. The fee is $30. All proceeds will be donated to Sidney Public Schools. Forms will be provided. Parent’s signature is required.
5For the younger crowd, enjoy story time at the Sidney-Richland County Library, every Friday from 10:30 a.m. — 12 p.m. Kids ages 0-5 welcome for stories, finger plays, songs, dancing and crafts.
Kyle Severson pleaded not guilty to the charge of deliberate homicide in front of Judge Katherine Bidegaray in Richland County District Court Monday, July 15. Severson is accused of shooting death of Tyler Hayden on July 2.
The not guilty plea caused an emotional reaction from Hayden’s friends and family, who were present in the courtroom.
A motion to reduce the $2 million bail was filed by the defense and a hearing was scheduled Monday, Aug. 12.
An omnibus hearing is set for Monday, Sept. 16, at 9:15 a.m. A status hearing will be Nov. 4, at 10 a.m., with a trial set for Dec. 10-13, at 8:30 a.m.
If convicted, Severson faces a sentence of 10 years minimum and over 100 years maximum in the state penitentiary.