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Boise inks deal with Amazon for airport improvements

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise officials have approved a lease agreement with online retailer Amazon as part of the company’s plan to build a cargo facility at the Boise Airport.

The Idaho Press reports that the Boise City Council last week unanimously approved the agreement with Amazon that calls for the city to build an access road, taxiway and ramp facilities for Amazon’s cargo facility. The city is paying $22 million to fund the improvements. The work is eligible for reimbursement from the Federal Aviation Administration if another commercial airport user utilizes the improvements at the airport, which the city of Boise operates.

“It is a big investment, but it’s an investment that will serve not just Amazon (but) other users in that end of the airport,” Council President Elaine Clegg said. “I hope that citizens understand that this is the kind of investment in the long-term future of the airport, and, yes, it does serve this one user today but in the long run it serves a lot more than that.”

The 30,000-square-foot Amazon cargo facility, to be paid for by the company, will be located south of the runway along Gowen Road. Amazon will lease a vacant 150,000-square-foot parcel, paying the city $60,000 annually for the land. It will also pay to land and park aircraft.

“We really look to the airport to be strategic in how we grow our economy and develop opportunities on the airport property,” said Boise Mayor Lauren McLean. McLean and Councilwoman Holli Woodings expressed confidence in the plan and Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp.

“She runs a tight ship, and she would not make this investment if she didn’t think that the residents of Boise, through the economic vibrancy that our airport provides, would be repaid in full,” Woodings said.

The airport cargo facility will be Amazon’s second significant investment in Idaho. The company last year opened a four-floor, 650,000-square-foot distribution center, or what it calls a fulfillment center, in Nampa.

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